Pakistan v South Africa 2013-14 September 10, 2013

Smith and Steyn return for Pakistan series

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Graeme Smith, who has been out of competitive cricket since May, is set to lead South Africa against Pakistan in the Test series in the UAE, which begins next month. Smith suffered a recurrence of an ankle injury while playing county cricket for Surrey, which required surgery. He is not 100% fit yet but, at the squad announcement, Smith said: "I'm feeling on track and I feel I will be there on the tour."

Dale Steyn, who missed much of the Champions Trophy and the limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka due to several niggles - including side strain, groin, glute, neck and ankle problem - will be fit to play. Wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile was picked, while Jacques Rudolph missed out. Imran Tahir and Robin Peterson were both named, meaning South Africa will have two frontline spin options for the tour.

JP Duminy, who had missed South Africa's previous Test series - also against Pakistan, at home in February this year - due to the Achilles tendon injury that ruled him out for several months in the first half of the year, returns to the long format.

Smith and Steyn also feature in the ODI squad for the tour, but Jacques Kallis - who opted out of the Champions Trophy and the limited-overs games in Sri Lanka - does not feature, despite confirming his desire to play the 2015 World Cup.

Vernon Philander earns a recall to the ODI squad - the last of his eight one-dayers was played in January 2012. One-day cricket, South Africa coach Russell Domingo said, would help Philander develop his bowling further. "Vern's strengths in Test cricket are his line and length and he would have to find more variation in the one-day game. It's not about just bowling 10 overs on off stump," Domingo said. "I always judge a player's skill on how they are able to learn new things. Vern has an unbelievable desire to do well."

Kallis is expected to be back in the limited-overs set-up for the scheduled home series against India, and convener of selectors Andrew Hudson said the Pakistan series meanwhile provided the lesser-established players a chance to press their case. "This is an opportunity for new guys to put their hands up and compete for a place in the World Cup in 2015."

Wayne Parnell and Imran Tahir will be among the players who want to grab that chance, having gained recalls in ODIs after more than a year on the sidelines. Alviro Petersen, Farhaan Behardien, Colin Ingram, Rory Kleinveldt, Chris Morris and Aaron Phangiso are the ones to miss out from the squad that played the ODI series against Sri Lanka in July.

Cricket South Africa said their T20 squad would be named after the Champions League T20, which ends on October 6.

South Africa play two Tests, the first of which starts on October 14, followed by five ODIs and two T20s, on the tour. Smith said South Africa would have to ease themselves back into Test cricket, having been away from the longest format for so long: "Going to conditions that are foreign, we just need to be smart in our preparation to be ready. We need to make sure we get the basics right. We can't expect to be flashy after such a long break."

Domingo said it wasn't ideal to go into a Test series after a long layoff, and that his team would just have to adapt fast. "We've been into Test series cold before; there's not an awful lot you can do about it. The players are professional and experienced enough to know what they must do to hit the ground running.

"There are some positives: fortunately we'll be there for nine or 10 days before we hit the first of the two Tests, so that's a bit of a plus. Included will be a three-day warm-up game, which is better than nothing at all - it's pretty typical of the ways schedules go these days. I think eight of the 15 who go will be playing first in the Twenty20 Champions League, so that's another good development."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Shazy777 on | September 12, 2013, 12:15 GMT

    for palistan tour Marchant de Lange is better choice than Rory Kleinveldt bcz Pakistan struggled against real pace... for home series Parnell is better choice bcz he is lefty so it brings varity in the squad...!!!

  • POSTED BY NixNixon on | September 12, 2013, 11:36 GMT

    My squad would have been: Smith (c), Amla, Kallis, DeVilliers (wk), Duminy, DuPlessis, Steyn, Morkel, Philander, Tahir, A Petersen, Elgar, Hendricks, R Peterson, DeKock.

    In my opinion, kleinveldt will not remain in the sa setup for much longer, he has not done a lot and there are a lot of younger talent like parnell and Hendricks who in time will take his place. Tsolekile whilst he is useful is old, de kock should tour with these guys to gain experience as he is def one for the future. Future SA Test Team; Elgar, Amla, De Villiers, Duminy, Du Plessis, De Kock (wk), McLaren/Parnell, Philander, Steyn, Morkel, Harmer

  • POSTED BY Robster1 on | September 12, 2013, 0:58 GMT

    Tsolekile and Kleinveldt still in the test squad ?! An ageing pair of players who will never be international class. Take Harmer, Abbott and de Kock on tour to get experience as at least they have a chance of becoming good international class cricketers.

  • POSTED BY on | September 11, 2013, 23:17 GMT

    Going to be one helluva series, too bad it is only 2 tests.

    As far as SA selection goes, how did Kleinveldt get in ahead of Abbott who took a 9-fer on test debut? Also, do we really need two bowlers who turn the ball away from the right-hander? How about some variety and throw in off-spinner Simon Harmer who has played brilliantly for SA "A"?

    Tsolekile as back-up keeper...if age is not an issue for a keeper, then that spot should be Morne van Wyk's who is the better gloveman and better batsman. On the positive side for SA cricket, what this move will do is allow QdeK some time behind the stumps for the Lions during the opening rounds of the Sunfoil Series and a chance to prove his worth in the first-class arena, and in time for the home series' against India and Australia.

    Lastly, it is time CSA named a vice-captain and groomed him to take over for the future. My pick is Dean Elgar, who captained SA Schools.

  • POSTED BY on | September 11, 2013, 21:20 GMT

    Predictable test squad but the one-day squad could have used more imagination. Tired of seeing the same old Smith Amla Kallis line-up. This side is due for some younger fresher faces. The next time Smith and Amla are out we might have a repeat of the last 6 months. There should be at least one new cap a tour then we're not forced to bring in the likes of Petersen and Ingram to open the batting when injuries occur. Also elgar is not likely to play in the tests and should have been given more time in the ODI's if we're serious about him. Bringing Steyn and Philander to the ODI squad are signs that the selectors are keen to address the current slide in rankings which is good but a poor reflection of the next wave of bowlers we have.

  • POSTED BY 2nd_Slip on | September 11, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    Pity its just a two test series. I'm sure many of us would have loved to see at least 3 or 4 test between these countries. Especially to gauge how good this SA side are remembering that when Eng were no.1 their decline from the top started with a failed test against spin against Pak in the UAE. With India not intent at playing SA away from their backyard it would be nice if CSA and the Pakistani cricket board were to add one or two tests to the series.

  • POSTED BY Voice.O.Reason on | September 11, 2013, 14:05 GMT

    mzm149: Just remember that it is only a game! That way you won't take it so much like an insult. Furthermore, remember that your team has won a few matches after that, if it helps.

  • POSTED BY Shazy777 on | September 11, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    Excellent selecting for odi... In test squad Rory Kleinveldt, Thami Tsolekile was replaced by Marchant de Lange & Quinton de Kock... De kock is young wk btsman so if he goes with test squad he gain alot of experience with that...!!

  • POSTED BY on | September 11, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    @Ibrarhunzai: Better talk very carefully when talking about saf test team. They have thrashed every team in last few years and it will take a massive effort from pak to win this. In my opinion two most likely results are draw and saf win. If they make flat pitches they wont be able to get 20 saf wicket, and if bowlers get slightest assistance steyn and philander will crash them. Pakistan's only hope is ajmal, but remember amla, de villiers, kallis, duminy plays spin better than most non-subcontinent players.

  • POSTED BY Ibrarhunzai on | September 11, 2013, 10:28 GMT

    47 all out would be near to impossible this time round, also Hafeez would not be an easy victim for steyn and co. I am expecting 1-0 win for Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY Shazy777 on | September 12, 2013, 12:15 GMT

    for palistan tour Marchant de Lange is better choice than Rory Kleinveldt bcz Pakistan struggled against real pace... for home series Parnell is better choice bcz he is lefty so it brings varity in the squad...!!!

  • POSTED BY NixNixon on | September 12, 2013, 11:36 GMT

    My squad would have been: Smith (c), Amla, Kallis, DeVilliers (wk), Duminy, DuPlessis, Steyn, Morkel, Philander, Tahir, A Petersen, Elgar, Hendricks, R Peterson, DeKock.

    In my opinion, kleinveldt will not remain in the sa setup for much longer, he has not done a lot and there are a lot of younger talent like parnell and Hendricks who in time will take his place. Tsolekile whilst he is useful is old, de kock should tour with these guys to gain experience as he is def one for the future. Future SA Test Team; Elgar, Amla, De Villiers, Duminy, Du Plessis, De Kock (wk), McLaren/Parnell, Philander, Steyn, Morkel, Harmer

  • POSTED BY Robster1 on | September 12, 2013, 0:58 GMT

    Tsolekile and Kleinveldt still in the test squad ?! An ageing pair of players who will never be international class. Take Harmer, Abbott and de Kock on tour to get experience as at least they have a chance of becoming good international class cricketers.

  • POSTED BY on | September 11, 2013, 23:17 GMT

    Going to be one helluva series, too bad it is only 2 tests.

    As far as SA selection goes, how did Kleinveldt get in ahead of Abbott who took a 9-fer on test debut? Also, do we really need two bowlers who turn the ball away from the right-hander? How about some variety and throw in off-spinner Simon Harmer who has played brilliantly for SA "A"?

    Tsolekile as back-up keeper...if age is not an issue for a keeper, then that spot should be Morne van Wyk's who is the better gloveman and better batsman. On the positive side for SA cricket, what this move will do is allow QdeK some time behind the stumps for the Lions during the opening rounds of the Sunfoil Series and a chance to prove his worth in the first-class arena, and in time for the home series' against India and Australia.

    Lastly, it is time CSA named a vice-captain and groomed him to take over for the future. My pick is Dean Elgar, who captained SA Schools.

  • POSTED BY on | September 11, 2013, 21:20 GMT

    Predictable test squad but the one-day squad could have used more imagination. Tired of seeing the same old Smith Amla Kallis line-up. This side is due for some younger fresher faces. The next time Smith and Amla are out we might have a repeat of the last 6 months. There should be at least one new cap a tour then we're not forced to bring in the likes of Petersen and Ingram to open the batting when injuries occur. Also elgar is not likely to play in the tests and should have been given more time in the ODI's if we're serious about him. Bringing Steyn and Philander to the ODI squad are signs that the selectors are keen to address the current slide in rankings which is good but a poor reflection of the next wave of bowlers we have.

  • POSTED BY 2nd_Slip on | September 11, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    Pity its just a two test series. I'm sure many of us would have loved to see at least 3 or 4 test between these countries. Especially to gauge how good this SA side are remembering that when Eng were no.1 their decline from the top started with a failed test against spin against Pak in the UAE. With India not intent at playing SA away from their backyard it would be nice if CSA and the Pakistani cricket board were to add one or two tests to the series.

  • POSTED BY Voice.O.Reason on | September 11, 2013, 14:05 GMT

    mzm149: Just remember that it is only a game! That way you won't take it so much like an insult. Furthermore, remember that your team has won a few matches after that, if it helps.

  • POSTED BY Shazy777 on | September 11, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    Excellent selecting for odi... In test squad Rory Kleinveldt, Thami Tsolekile was replaced by Marchant de Lange & Quinton de Kock... De kock is young wk btsman so if he goes with test squad he gain alot of experience with that...!!

  • POSTED BY on | September 11, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    @Ibrarhunzai: Better talk very carefully when talking about saf test team. They have thrashed every team in last few years and it will take a massive effort from pak to win this. In my opinion two most likely results are draw and saf win. If they make flat pitches they wont be able to get 20 saf wicket, and if bowlers get slightest assistance steyn and philander will crash them. Pakistan's only hope is ajmal, but remember amla, de villiers, kallis, duminy plays spin better than most non-subcontinent players.

  • POSTED BY Ibrarhunzai on | September 11, 2013, 10:28 GMT

    47 all out would be near to impossible this time round, also Hafeez would not be an easy victim for steyn and co. I am expecting 1-0 win for Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY mzm149 on | September 11, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    CricIndia208: You must be concerned about your team who is afraid to face South Africa. That is why they are cancelling/reducing the tour. BTW it is difficult to bear the insult of whitewash on three consecutive tours.

  • POSTED BY Ibrarhunzai on | September 11, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    @Sachit1979:: Botha is an Aussie now, he has moved to Australia. Cant be selected in the S.African team.

  • POSTED BY MurtaMac on | September 11, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    @CricIndia208 - shows how much you know about the game. Why don't you go berate the DRS, something your pre historic board loves doing.

  • POSTED BY on | September 11, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    I don't get one thing. Why are the spinning dusty wickets of UAE dull? Yes, we don't see the nick and pace of the South African pitches. But a spinning wicket is not dull.

  • POSTED BY MurtaMac on | September 11, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    @Greatest_Game - I agree with you taking an offence to Omarzz and I see where you are coming from as well. We (PAK) have always struggled against RSA since readmission, it is the one opposition we have failed to dominate in any ODI/ Test series. We were pretty good against the mighty Aussies pre 1998 but since I've been watching cricket since 1990 onward RSA is always a tough fixture with a win almost a rarity.

  • POSTED BY CricIndia208 on | September 11, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    SA to thrash pakistan 2-0. HaHa! It will be funny watching Mohd Hafeez take on Steyn. Looking forward to another 47 all out.

  • POSTED BY Ibrarhunzai on | September 11, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    Misbah's positive approach is needed to win the test series against S.Africa. Last time when they were here in Dubai he didnt show the positive approach and he was happy with the drawn matches even though he had a chance of winning one of them.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | September 11, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    @ Omarrz thinks that "RSA will struggle against Pak in UAE," & that Pak can "beat the crap out of RSA." Omarrz ridicules other posters talking about Pak vs Zimbabwe, saying they "should know (if they have ever followed cricket at all in their lives) is that Pakistan is notorious of showing stupidity against a lesser opposition and raise their game against a better opponent."

    If Omarrz actually knew anything about cricket, he would know that out of 21 Pak vs SA tests, Pak have won exactly 3. SA have won 11 and 7 have been drawn. Of 9 series, SA won 6, and Pak won 1. SA is clearly a "better opponent," but Omarrz thinks that winning 1 series & losing 6 is RAISING their game?

    As I have said in another post, I have great respect for Pak, but in their test history against SA only 1 side have regularly "had the crap beaten out of them," & it is not SA. Omarrz blatant disrespect & arrogance does not reflect well the worldwide respect Pakistani cricketers have earned.

  • POSTED BY Ab_marri on | September 11, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    Dont forget Devilliers's 278* not out against same pakistani weak team...in same country UAE Abu Dhabi's Sheikh zayed Stadium his Carriers best 278* not out against same saeed ajmal Rehman etcc...i dont think pakistan have any chance to win.....Proteas are beck in actionn...Sweet taste of Steyn for Hafeez again hahahah..Come on Proteas...

  • POSTED BY gimme-a-greentop on | September 11, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    One more fool calling Parnell a quota selection. Personally, I would pick Parnell over Morris myself at the moment. Morris is good but selecting Parnell over him is neither "madness" nor "quota," but based on cricketing ability. Get over yourself man. "possibly'" Tsolekile for De Kok? Never in a million years is that youngster good enough for Test cricket yet. You don't know what you are talking about...

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | September 11, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    Need opening start

  • POSTED BY SherjilIslam on | September 11, 2013, 7:29 GMT

    I am damn sure Pakistan will do much better here in UAE.....but still has doubt about their batting. My predictions, 1-1.

  • POSTED BY Ab_marri on | September 11, 2013, 7:25 GMT

    I love proteas since they beck in international cricket...Steyn and AB De villiers will repeat histroy again against this weak batting lineup of pakistan...South africa will hammer themm...and will Destroyy Ajmall etc...SA will win 2-0. they are No.1.love it.

  • POSTED BY MurtaMac on | September 11, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    Strong SA squad but PAK will up their game for the series and with the dull wickets, I can see PAK probably winning the Test series 1-0 especially with our top class spinners and men around the bat.

    SA will be too good in the ODIs maybe taking it 2-3 but I reckon we can beat them both T20s. Should be a good series, looking forward to it! Pity its only 2 tests and not 3! Come on PAK!!

  • POSTED BY Sachit1979 on | September 11, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    I think ODI squad should have had Johan Botha instead of Imran Tahir.

  • POSTED BY on | September 11, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    Looks like a strong squad. In my humble opinion, Smith, Petersen, Amla, Kallis, De Villiers, Duminy, Tsolekile, Philander, Steyn, Morkel, Tahir is as good a Test side, if not better, as any on the planet at the moment. However I fear matches could well be decided by how dull the UAE pitches are, rather than either team's batting or bowling - which would be a shame.

  • POSTED BY TommytuckerSaffa on | September 11, 2013, 5:34 GMT

    OMG, what is Kleinveld doing there with R.Petersen!!! Such a travesty that SA A players were not rewarded for call up to the Test squad. Guys like Abbott, Hamer and R.Rousouw...

    I hope Imran Tahir starts, he is far more effective than R.Petersen who has recently lost form. SA batting looks very strong. Wickets in the UAE will be Roads.

  • POSTED BY Marktc on | September 11, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    Omarrz..'beat the crap out of RSA'...are you serious? South Africa are know to be a good touring side. Sadly CSA seems to make a habit of giving RSA long breaks ad then rushing them into a series. But I am sure SA will be no walkover. I predict 1-0 to RSA.

  • POSTED BY Haiderpakawsome on | September 11, 2013, 5:12 GMT

    Inshallah! Pak would be up atleast by 2-0. It will be difficult for Steyn and co to get out best batsman like Hafeez,Younis, Misbah & U Akmal in conditions like Dubai. At the same time the UAE conditions are much familiar for bowlers like Ajmal, Junaid & Irfan. It is shame that Pak is not getting as many tests like other teams. If they would have been playing equal amount of test matches like SL, Ind, Eng and Aus then they would have been No 1 in rankings.

  • POSTED BY on | September 11, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    Ok well the obvious Proteas quota selection in this tour look like:

    Test - Klienvelt for Kyle Abbot or Morris & possibly Tsolekile for De Kock

    ODI - Definitely Parnell for Morris - utter madness this one.

    I think off-spinner Simon Harmer who has been performing in A-team matches is unlucky not to make either of these squads also.

    Good to see Philander back in the ODI set-up, looked more than a test specialist during the Caribbean Premier League.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | September 11, 2013, 4:45 GMT

    I think South Africa got a very balance side. Seem like its hard to bowl the out twice in a match. Pakistan is also fine in UAE conditions. Seem like a same result as we had couple of years back

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 23:20 GMT

    I'm expecting Pakistan's team for the first test to look a little like:

    Hafeez, Taufeeq, Azhar, Younis, Misbah, Umar Akmal, Adnan Akmal, Rehman, Ajmal, Junaid, Irfan

    Expect Jamshed, Rahat, Shafiq, Amin and Gul to be in the squad also.

  • POSTED BY Desihungama on | September 10, 2013, 21:28 GMT

    Though SA has a better pace attack but the Pakistani quicks know how to utilize turning tracks. They've been doing it for ages. And that I suppose may be the difference. @Waseem Ghumro - Agreed!

  • POSTED BY mzm149 on | September 10, 2013, 19:53 GMT

    Martin Crowther: I completely agree with your selection of Pakistan team for the first test.

    On placid wickets of UAE we will see a completely different Nasir Jamshed from the one we saw in South Africa. He will definitely score confidently and will have at least one big inning. I am hoping for return of Taufeeq Umar in test team as well to provide solid opening. Pakistan's middle order in tests is already quite strong and performing in UAE will not be a problem. On spinning tracks, going with 3 frontline spinners with Hafeez as the fourth one will be a interesting idea. Last two test tours of foreign teams to UAE went in favor of Pakistan I.e tour of Sri Lanka in 2011 and England in 2012. I am hoping to get similar results in this tour as well :-)

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | September 10, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    @ Arun Kumar thinks that "In dubai 3-0 for pakistan purely because of Ajmal,Rehman and Hafeez."

    In their last UAE meeting, SA's innings run rates were :3.81, 3.08, 3.34, 3.69. (Pak's best run rate was 3.01.) SA were scoring at that rate against Ajmal - tour ave 65.66, Hafeez - tour ave 55.5, and Rehman - tour ave 48.55.

    All would agree that Ajmal & Rehman are much improved bowlers today, but for them to get a 3-0 result in Dubai, when only one game of a two test series is being played there, (the other is in Abu Dhabi,) is beyond even their skills.

    Arun - you do not seem well acquainted with the details of the past, or of the present. Your prediction will fail! Guaranteed.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | September 10, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    When SA last met Pak in UAE we saw 2 draws. Ajmal/Rehman did not rip through SA, nor Steyn/Morkel through Pak. Talk of a whitewash is silly.

    Most runs: Kallis, de Villiers, Amla, Ali, Misbah, Younis.

    Most wickets: Rehman, Harris, Ahmed, Morkel, Steyn, Botha.

    Highest score de Villiers 278*. Kallis 2 centuries.

    Best Bowling: Ahmed 6/120. Morkel 5/54. Steyn 4/98. Botha 3/61. Rehman 3/81.

    Ajmal did poorly - expect that to change! If tracks turn, Pak spin will be very tough, but this is not Eng or Aus - SA can play spin. Tahir, Peterson & Duminy will also like turn. & Steyn, Morkel & Philander can attack anywhere. SA could go in with 7 bowlers & 8 batsmen! Kallis, Duminy, Peterson, & Philander can all bat & bowl.

    Hopefully the tracks offer the bowlers assistance - spin or seam - & results are possible either way. I am looking forward, as always, to good, clean cricket with Pak: honorable opponents who play fair & keep their word! Waiting to see their team & if it reveals much.

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    When is Marchant de Lange going to be given another go? He's back from injury and bowling over 150kph! Steyn was raw pace when he first started too; they need to groom him while he's still young to get a refined world class bowler before he starts losing his pace!

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    The Pakistan team that should play the 1st test against south Africa should be...

    Taufeeq Umar Jamshed Azahr Ali Younis Khan Misbah Ul Haq Hafeez Adnan Akmal (wkt) Rehman Junaid Khan Rahat Ali/ Irfan Ajmal

    Jamshed returns to open with Taufeeq Umar as steyn and Philander dont bowl that well to left handers compared to right handers. Hafeez during the series in South Africia was Steyns rabbit. Adnan akmal stays behind the stumps as he is the best wicket keeper pakistan have at the moment. Hafeez drops down the order as he is a natural aggreesive stroke player and will be able to dominate if Younis Khan and Misbah get in and set a good platform. Hafeez also stays in the team as he offers the team a very useful bowling option which misbah will need if Amla and Smith decide to stay in for a while. Tuafeeq Umar looks the best opener at the moment that Pakistan have.

  • POSTED BY Omarrz on | September 10, 2013, 15:46 GMT

    RSA will struggle against Pak in UAE. In 2012 England also suffered the same fate. For all those who are complaining about Pakistan's performance against Zimbabwe should know (if they have ever followed cricket at all in their lives) is that Pakistan is notorious of showing stupidity against a lesser opposition and raise their game against a better opponenet. All Pakistan need to do is to bring back Taufeeq Umar and the rest of the squad looks decent enough to beat the crap out of RSA.

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    Good looking test squad but Id would rather have Van Der Merwe or a off spinning bowler instead of Tahir. Du Plessis bowling looked more threatening in Australia and in England. Van Der Merwe gives the ball air and a good rip.The South Africa team I would have played for the 1st test would be

    Smith Petersen Amla Kallis DeVilliers(wkt) Du Plesis Duminy Peterson/Van Der Merwe Phillander Steyn Morkel

    Smith has 6 bowlers to pick from and Dumminy has the off spinning bowling option. Very strong looking team. Kleinveldt doesnt look threatening except for with the bat. The wickets in the UAE will be flat and will probably turn. Pakistans batting is weak so I would expect South Africa to win the series. But if Junaid Khan and Saeed Ajmal bowl well it could be closer.

  • POSTED BY ahsanmahmood945 on | September 10, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    Mark my word, Even if SA are NO1 team in the world right now and they will be much more powerful with the presence of smith,steyn,amla,devilliers,jp,and philandar and pakistan is struggling against zim, SA will found it so hard to win a test match in UAE when the pitches will be dry and when you face a powerful bowling attack.SA do not have a good record in UAE so they better get some practise before the match.

  • POSTED BY abdulalimuhammad on | September 10, 2013, 15:27 GMT

    I am also Here Pakistan will win series at least 1-0 or may the series going to drew If India makes spin wickets for Australia and South Africa makes bouncy pitches than why not Pakistan and It would be no pleasent wether 15-30 degree celcius for Steyn Philander and Morkel it would be above 40 degree celecius they also have no good spin bowler for Pakistan Pak will win Younas average above 50 misbah high 40 and Azhar ali also above 40 Asad Shafiq also aboe 40

  • POSTED BY vrn59 on | September 10, 2013, 15:14 GMT

    Should be an interesting series. I would have easily named SA as my favorites for this series, but if Pakistan can perform like they did against England in 2012, then this series could be really competitive. Their bowling is ideal for UAE conditions and their batting lineup, albeit still brittle and unreliable, will be more comfortable on spin-friendly pitches. SA's batsmen, especially Amla, Kallis and de Villiers, are reputed to be amongst the world's finest players of spin so the way they tackle Ajmal and Rehman will be great to watch. Their fast bowling attack is obviously vastly superior to Pakistan's, but both their spinners are not proven Test quality wicket takers, which could be a worry on dustbowls. In order to play a seven-man batting lineup, SA will need to drop either Philander or Morkel and play Kallis as the third seamer. Although Morkel's game seems better suited to the conditions, no fast bowler has taken more wickets than Philander since his Test debut: tough choice!

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 14:49 GMT

    I have been waiting for this series for a long time. The new ball bullies who bundle out teams for 40s in Cape Town, average 46 in UAE (Steyn). Philander the trundler will get a taste of unhelpful tracks for the first time. Both of them went into hiding once Pak survived the new ball in SA, because they're useless with the old one. And even Hafeez spanked Steyn last time they toured UAE. Pakistan were given no warm-up match before that 49 all out test, we should return them the favor.

  • POSTED BY am5786 on | September 10, 2013, 14:47 GMT

    Why everyone has forgotten what Pakistan did to then No.#1. Pakistanis are very good at home and why everyone concerns about pitch condition home teams make pitches which suit to their bowling. So, I am hoping to see turning wickets and believe me it won't be one sided series. Maybe South Africa manage to win a match but Pakistan is going to win the series.

  • POSTED BY 504429641 on | September 10, 2013, 14:39 GMT

    while its good that Steyn is fit to play in series vs Pak, will Steyn play in CL T20, which will be before that series? SRH are so dependent on Steyn, that it will be difficult for them without Steyn.

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    I wish South africa should thrash Pakistan in the tour. Hoping Pakistan will not make Batting Paradise just to save their names. Pitch should be sporting and balanced. But I believe Pakistan will just play to draw the series by making batting Paradise pitches. Hopefully Steyn Philander and Morkel will be too good forPakistan (INSHALLAH) Good Luck Proteas waiting for the series to start

  • POSTED BY AltafPatel on | September 10, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    Including Philander in ODI squad will affect his tremendous Test form. Plethora options in place of him and should have been rested from ODIs.

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    This is an excellent & experienced SA side. I think Pakistan will be hammered by SA as they are struggling to manage a victory against Zimbabwe right now.

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    Smith, Pietersen, Amla, Kallis, AB, Duminy, Duplesis, Vernon, Morkel, Steyn, Ajmal... The best team which includes proteas with the great Saeed Ajmal..... Proteas will be scary of Ajmal as he will be the only treat for them....... May b Rahman becomes a counter Attacker against South Africa as he did against England (The then no.1 Team).......................................

  • POSTED BY abmughal on | September 10, 2013, 13:12 GMT

    Safalicious, among top five scorers in the last series in SA were 3 pakistanies..... only ab devilier as i told u was the big defference among pak and SA otherwise ..... one match was saved by robin peterson so ......and on the pitch where spinners were getting sth saeed ajmal crushed SA top order. ........now what do u say??????

  • POSTED BY mzm149 on | September 10, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    Why not bring in Zulfiqar Baber as 4th spinner in the game? No wonder Amla and de Villiers are good players of spin but Pakistan's spin bowling is the best in the world at present. If the conditions are slightly favorable to spin bowling, Pakistani spinners can annihilate any batting order specially the ones out of Asia. Pakistan's t20 vs South Arica and vs australia in Sri Lanka last year and England test series in UAE are some of the examples. Pakistan batsmen have to score some runs to give bowlers some chance and they will definitely deliver. We should learn from India and prepare rank turners just as they did against Australia this year.

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    If you think that Pakistan has any chance of winning this series, then you are sadly delusional. They are struggling against ZIMBABWE, and will get hammered by SA. I hope it is a close series, but I just don't see it happening.

  • POSTED BY abmughal on | September 10, 2013, 12:56 GMT

    Safalicious ,i commented on the basis of the last series stats..... 2 years ago eng were the top and number one side with all their best batsman inform with cook, pieterson, trot, bell, morgan etc what hapend to them ....bell the best batsman of today ....were avaraging 6 in that series .... so wait and watch ........ board and anderson couldnt do anything their ....... and what hapend to those batsman just recently in SL against spin??????? hope u have understood i m worried about pakistan's batting not SA batting i know ajaml will deal them

  • POSTED BY binu.emiliya on | September 10, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    What will be Delhi Team for Challenger Cup? Shewag,Gambheer,Dhawan ( he may not be in the list because he is playing for SRH in CLt20) Kohli,Ishanth Sharma,Rajath Bhatia,Mithun Manhas,Parwinder Awana,Pradeep Sangwan,Vikas Mishra,Milind Kumar ....Very good team,They may easly take the trophy

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 10, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    pakistan batting is weak. south africa should easily win 2-0 .

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | September 10, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    @Stephen Axtell The batting stood up when it needed to. Our openers were poor, but Younis, Misbah, Azhar, Asad and Adnan all stepped up and scored vital runs in the series when they were needed. The batting has deteriorated since then, but Pakistan certainly weren't poor - they managed to get the better of a sustained quality bowling effort from England. Facing South Africa will be tougher because of Philander. Steyn can struggle when there's no swing, and Morkel will have to work hard. But a fit Philander will be dangerous.

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 12:51 GMT

    I think South Africa should keep philander as a test specialist. Building on variations might damage the consistency in line and length which has done him well in the test format. Philander should work more in getting a yard faster and building up more stamina to bowling longer spells as playing in the sub continent he will bowl more overs than on the green tops of Cape Town and Johannesburg.

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 12:17 GMT

    People are forgetting that Pakistan batting was poor in that series against England. And I think the batting has weakend.

  • POSTED BY malepas on | September 10, 2013, 12:15 GMT

    This will be a big test for SA and only Amla and Kallis has the class to cope the spin trio of Ajmal,Rehman and Hafeez and rest would have to support them, if they failed, SA will in big trouble.This will be also a test for Philander, he gonna really tested on these pitches, not sure he can be any affective on sub-continent style pitches, he is mainly a new ball bowler. But we expect this a very close series and may finish 1-1. I think SA should think about inviting PAK to tour SA to fill the Indian snub. Good luck to both teams.

  • POSTED BY Safalicious on | September 10, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    abmughal, no difference between SA and Pak batting? Thank you, funniest thing I have read all year!! Smith, Pietersen, Amla, Kallis, AB, JP Duminy, Faf, Philander, Steyn, Morkel, Tahir. That is an incredibly deep batting lineup and still has 5 frontline bowlers, with Duminy a genuine spin option as a 6th bowler and 2nd spinner. Even Faf can turn his arm and if Dean elgar is selected to open, then you have a 3rd spin option with Faf as a 4th even.

    I watched the tests here in the UAE last time around and the pitches were flat, yet difficult to get the ball away and score rapidly. SA batting has just too much class to get rolled here while the SA quicks will find seam movement, especially Big Vern. There is no way that SA will lose a test, and if the pitches are result orientated, even for spin, then SA will take both tests by a country mile.

    It is a fallacy that SA cannot play spin. Amla, AB, JP and Kallis are among the finest players of spin in the world at present.

  • POSTED BY Cric_fever_forever on | September 10, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    i admit that sa looks strong on paper and favourtes but cricket is played on the field rather then on paper. My question for south african fans: dont u think sa would be kinda rusty for test ?? i mean its been 6 months since they last played test moreover some of the players are coming from injury... did they played any domestic matches at home during 6 months gap?? do answer

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    Good luck PAKISTAN raring to go at south Africa my prediction 2 nil to PAKISTAN.

  • POSTED BY naansari on | September 10, 2013, 11:36 GMT

    Good balanced and strong squad...it will be a tough challenge for SA batsman to perform really well against PAK spinners especially in the test series.....

  • POSTED BY hotcric01 on | September 10, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    Steyn and co won't be that successful in UAE dry pitches and Tahir hasn't performed well in test format.Spin of Ajmal and Reheman could be the difference.

  • POSTED BY mzm149 on | September 10, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    Pakistan are favorites to win the series. Last time when South Africa toured UAE, It was just a new "home" for Pakistan cricket team. They were not yet acclimatized enough. Moreover PCB didn't have full control over preparation of pitches at that time. Now they are free to prepare pitches according to their liking. They will definitely prepare spinning tracks as they did against England in 2012. Spin bowling is Pakistan's strength and they will definitely try to make the conditions as suitable as possible for Ajmal. Remember in Cape Town earlier this year when the conditions just slightly favored spin bowling, how Ajmal cast his spell and Pakistan almost won the game..

    Pakistani batsmen will also perform better as they usually perform in Asian conditions. Bowling from Steyn, Philander and Morkel will not be lethal enough due to sluggishness of pitches.

  • POSTED BY heathrf1974 on | September 10, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    Should be an interesting series. There needs to be more Test matches against Pakistan in the UAE.

  • POSTED BY SherjilIslam on | September 10, 2013, 11:14 GMT

    Does that mean end of Jacques Kallis's ODI career????

  • POSTED BY abmughal on | September 10, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    on the papers there is no doubt that SA is much stronger side than PAK , but if u see the statistics of the last between PAK and SA there was not much differnce between PAk batting and SA batting from the batsman , the big difference was between the batting from SA Wicket keeper and bowlers that saved the 2nd test, now in duabi to face Saeed ajmal and Rehman would not be easy for them ....... i hope teh result would not go in the favour of SA . what pak have to do is only to put 250 score per inning . that would be enough for saeed and rehman to win a match for PAK

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 10, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    Sa is favorite because of their strong bating line and also they have very good fast bowlers. But it will become a good contest if ajmal and rehman comes in action. I hope they will repeat the same performance , they did against England couple of years ago.

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 11:00 GMT

    Welcome back Dale Steyn. Also, CSA showed their trust in Imran Tahir for both Tests & ODIs which must benefit him with handy experience at spin friendly pitches conditioned to he comes in final XI. Jacques Kallis .... I'll miss u in color outfit ... you always seem to me as good as u were against WI in the Final of ICC Knockout 1998. At last, a two match test series is always small, I would have been more happy had it been 3 tests and 3 ODIs !

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    great batsman & Bowler come in team

  • POSTED BY SA_Cric69 on | September 10, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    Do you guys not read stuff on cricinfo? Kyle abbot is very young and they do have plans for him. They're weening him in slowly and he just hasn't played enough for SA A long enough. He will get his shot but they don't want to introduce him too early, kinda like they did with steyn.

    To all those that think Pak will win 2-0.... I know in general SA don't have the best players of spin in the world but at least they're competent. I reckon they can play spin better than the Pak batting lineup can play pace which is gonna be the difference. I don't see the Pak batting lineup fairing too much better than they did in SA.

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    its a dream to beat South Africa, SA are well balanced side than Pakistan in all departments we say we have Ajmal or Rahman but cricket is a team game ajmal or rahman not performe in each game , our batting always our reason to lose , don't have any bowler like wasim or waqar and our fielding always bad and other hand SA are batter batsmans batter fast bowlers and 110% batter feilding side , favoritisim & politics is in our team no one play for contry every one play for thereself, I'm a PAKISTANI & love my contry & love Pakistan team but when some selfish guys play selfishly i feel shame on them my 7 years old son says "PAPA I CAN PLAY BATTER THAN THESE PLAYERS" most of times luck and preyrs od peoples give the victory i always pray for our team that may some peoples thinks for cricket think for PAKISTAN

  • POSTED BY ShahbazSalamat on | September 10, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    SA looks very strong on paper but it will be real test of old horses in the field...only Pakistan Batting can save them...bowling is good Pakistan Should have at least five genuine bowlers. 2 pacer here i mean pacer with speed not like Rahat...he is not even a bowler i dont how he got chance in Pakistani team....bring back Genuine Pacer to support Junaid...spin department is fine

  • POSTED BY hunain94 on | September 10, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    Strong squad it will be good to see Imran playing against Pakistan and steyn all worries for Misbah and company

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | September 10, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    Would have been good to have given another captain a run for the ODIs. de Villiers is a fine batsman, but has shown that captaincy + keeping are too much for him. Duminy or Amla might be better choices, leaving him to concentrate on scoring runs, especially if they go with de Kock

  • POSTED BY Nuxxy on | September 10, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    Simon Harmer should have bee included.

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    Looking forward to see Philander bowl in Asia. I really doubt that his performance will be anything near to what his stats suggest. Expect a tough series as SA Batsmen are probably best in the world (inc IND) against spin bowling

  • POSTED BY ShahbazSalamat on | September 10, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    For Test.....Taufeeq, Hafeez, Azhar, Younis, Misbah, Asad, Umer Akmal, Ajmal, Juniad, Abdur Rehman, Gul/ Tabish......I think Pakistan should also test Hammad Azam here replace with Asad Ali depending upon pitch

  • POSTED BY Mr.PotatoesTomatoes on | September 10, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    It will be a show dominated by Pak's spin trio-Saeed Ajmal in lead role,Abdur Rehman and Hafeez playing sidekicks.Except Kallis,Amla and deVilliers with the bat and Steyn with the bowl there may not be a lot of joy for the Proteas.Trial by Spin awaits.

  • POSTED BY Geeva on | September 10, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    I baffled how did Rory Kleinveldt make the test team…last time kyle Abbott took 7 wickets in an innings against Pakistan surely Abbot should play more even chris morris looks better than kleinveldt..any he carry the drinks the others will get good bowling practice ahead of the India tour….not sure how duminy got back into the test team hardly plays 1st class cricket scored 80 and 0 against India A missed the 2nd match against India A

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 10, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    both are good sides I think it could be a great series inshaaallah pakistan wil win this series

  • POSTED BY Stark62 on | September 10, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    Good squad but if Pak select Zulfiqar Babar to pair up with Ajmal, then a 2-0 drubbing will be on the cards for SA.

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    balanced squad but...i still predict 3-0 whitewash in favor of pakistan!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 10, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    south africa should easily win this. pakistan have a very poor batting line up. steyn will rip through them easily.

  • POSTED BY xcorpion678 on | September 10, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    SA team looks seriously strong, with JP back batting will strengthen even more. Can't wait to see Steyn and Philander bowl in tandem. Hope pitches in UAE have some life in them. Would love to see Kallis score big runs and go past Tendulker's record number of 100s sometime soon.

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    Poor Pakistan. Feel for them as they have to play the 'Home' series 'Away from home!'

    But, nevertheless, we can expect a good battle given the pitch at least assist some pace & swing, if not entirely.

  • POSTED BY gimme-a-greentop on | September 10, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    Kyle Abbott can think of himself as a bit unlucky not to be the back up quick for the Tests.

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    Much better & balanced squad than SL Tour & CT 2013. Smith's re-entry in both forms of cricket after injury is truly welcomed. But no rewards for performers of recent SA A squad??? I mean Harmer & Beuran Hendricks should be in place of Robin & Tsotsobe particularly on UAE tracks when Imran tahir is also there. It will give a nice combination of off-break & leg-break bowlers in tandem.than leg-break & orthodox left armer. Beuran is more effective on flat dead pitch in UAE. Overall SA is still strong against struggling PAK in UAE.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 10, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    In dubai 3-0 for pakistan purely because of Ajmal,Rehman and Hafeez

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | September 10, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    On the dry hot sun cricket will Be anything but cracking

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 10, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    If Pakistan side is balanced, they are hard to beat in UAE.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 10, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    Both of them are the back bone for SOUTH AFRICA cricket team.In ther presence Pakistan is going to face tough time for sure. we expecting an intresting series in U.A.E.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 10, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    Both the cricketers are back bones for South Africa cricket team. In thier presence Pakistan is going to face tough time for sure. And we expecting a craking series in UAEG

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    test team is nice but one Bad Decison Thami Tsolekile..y tis old chap is in the team u could hav picked dane vilas or heino kuhn...poor selection

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 10, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    repeat of 3-0 wud not be impossible as all matches finished insidw 4 days . still ibwud take 2-0 win by sa to strengthen tgeir number 1 rank in test cricket.

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  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 10, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    repeat of 3-0 wud not be impossible as all matches finished insidw 4 days . still ibwud take 2-0 win by sa to strengthen tgeir number 1 rank in test cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    test team is nice but one Bad Decison Thami Tsolekile..y tis old chap is in the team u could hav picked dane vilas or heino kuhn...poor selection

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 10, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    Both the cricketers are back bones for South Africa cricket team. In thier presence Pakistan is going to face tough time for sure. And we expecting a craking series in UAEG

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 10, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    Both of them are the back bone for SOUTH AFRICA cricket team.In ther presence Pakistan is going to face tough time for sure. we expecting an intresting series in U.A.E.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 10, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    If Pakistan side is balanced, they are hard to beat in UAE.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | September 10, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    On the dry hot sun cricket will Be anything but cracking

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 10, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    In dubai 3-0 for pakistan purely because of Ajmal,Rehman and Hafeez

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    Much better & balanced squad than SL Tour & CT 2013. Smith's re-entry in both forms of cricket after injury is truly welcomed. But no rewards for performers of recent SA A squad??? I mean Harmer & Beuran Hendricks should be in place of Robin & Tsotsobe particularly on UAE tracks when Imran tahir is also there. It will give a nice combination of off-break & leg-break bowlers in tandem.than leg-break & orthodox left armer. Beuran is more effective on flat dead pitch in UAE. Overall SA is still strong against struggling PAK in UAE.

  • POSTED BY gimme-a-greentop on | September 10, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    Kyle Abbott can think of himself as a bit unlucky not to be the back up quick for the Tests.

  • POSTED BY on | September 10, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    Poor Pakistan. Feel for them as they have to play the 'Home' series 'Away from home!'

    But, nevertheless, we can expect a good battle given the pitch at least assist some pace & swing, if not entirely.