Pakistan v South Africa 2013-14 October 1, 2013

Ajmal plays down revenge talk ahead of SA series

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Pakistan lost 3-0 in the Tests on their tour of South Africa earlier this year, but their offspinner Saeed Ajmal says revenge will not be on his mind when the two sides clash again later this month.

"There's nothing like revenge in cricket, but we will give them a strong reply," Ajmal said at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore. "I can't say 100% Pakistan will win, but if we play to 100% we will win in UAE."

One of Pakistan's greatest results in Tests was their 3-0 victory over the then No. 1 side England in 2012 in the UAE, and Ajmal hoped that the team could perform at a similar level against the current No. 1 side.

"Last time when we played in Dubai, England was No. 1 and we were at the same position and we performed well," he said. "Inshallah against South Africa we will try our best to perform as well as we did against England."

Ajmal was one of the stars of the success against England, turning in a Man-of-the-Series performance with 24 wickets at 14.70. "I can't say that I will take 20 or 40 wickets, but I am trying my best to be Man of the Series in the coming series."

Pakistan's Test record has been ordinary since that England series, winning only one Test - against No. 9 ranked Zimbabwe. Ajmal hoped that playing in Dubai would change that. "We are going in with full preparation, we are focussed and we know it takes spin in Dubai, we haven't played badly in Dubai thus far and we will try to do the same."

The first Test starts on October 14, in Abu Dhabi.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY babycricketer on | October 4, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    My 16 man squad for the test series is: Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Umar Amin (v/c), Younis Khan, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Abdur Rehman, Wahab Riaz, Nasir Jamshed, Umar Akmal (w/k), Adnan Akmal (w/k), Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Khurram Manzoor, Ehsan Adil, Ahmad Shehzad, Zulfiqar Babar. If you are wondering why I included Zulfiqar Babar, it's because he got a 6 wicket haul in the practice match for the SA series played by the 22 man squad and bowled beautifully. He has an awesome arm ball. For the 1st test in Abu Dhabi my 11 would be: Ahmad Shehzad, Nasir Jamshaid, Umar Amin (v/c), Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Umar Akmal, Adnan Akmal (w/k)l, Abdur Rehman, Zulfiqar Babar, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan. If they don't play 3 spinners Mohammad Irfan should come in for Abdur Rehman.

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | October 3, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    Justice Wasarirevu on (October 3, 2013, 13:13 GMT) Fella I don't agree with your reserve bowler. De Lange, Abott & Tsotsobe are ahead than Rory.

  • POSTED BY on | October 3, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    Nice gesture from Ajmal.SA will win though Pakistan will also want to prove a point and will offer some resistance.PAK !.Mazoor 2.Shazed 3.Ali 4.Yunous 5.Musba huq(CapT) 6.H Sohail 7.U Akamal 8.Rehman 9.Ajmal 10.Junaid 11.Gul reserve Shafiq and Riaz SA.Peterson 2 Smith 3.Amla 4.Kallis 5.DeVelliers 6.DuPlessis 7.Duminy 8.Philander 9.Peterson 10.Steyn 11.Morkel reserve Algar and Kleinvedldt

  • POSTED BY Crick_Expert on | October 3, 2013, 2:02 GMT

    If PCB would like a winning team then PAK TEAM for SA Tour should be as 1)Younis Kkhan(CAPT) 2) AFRIDI(V-Capt) 3)Nasir Jamshed 4)Ahmed Shahzad 5)Sohaib Maqsood 6)Shan Massood 7)Haris Sohail 8)Umar Akmal(WKT) 9)Ajmal 10)Junaid 11)Irfan

    Mr. tuktuk, Professor, Asad Safiq, Umar Gul, Azahar Ali, Adnan Akmal, Sohail Tanvir should say BYE to cricket world

  • POSTED BY t20cric on | October 2, 2013, 21:08 GMT

    When is the test squad going to be announced with just over 10 days left til the start of the first test Pakistan should definitely figure out who they want in the squad. I suggest: Taufeeq Umar, Nasir Jamshed/Khurram Manzoor/Ahmed Shehzad, Haris Sohail, Fawad Alam, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-haq(capt), Umar Akmal(back up wk but should stay on the team even as a batsman), Umar Amin, Mohammad Rizwan(wk), Junaid Khan, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Zulfiqar Babar, Usman Qadir. This squad has a lot of batsmen but not much bowlers so probably a better squad could be chosen but it is very important to pick the right batsmen for a series.

  • POSTED BY on | October 2, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    Its going to be a very good series. Certainly good for Pakistan to be playing against the best test team of the world. Being a Pakistani, i would love to see them playing good solid hard cricket against SA. Lets just not talk about the results, enjoy the cricket ! looking forward eagerly

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | October 2, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    Now the Next victim of AFRICAN DEADLY BARRAGE (Steyn, Phillander, Morkel, De Lange, Tsotsobe, Abott) is Pakistan. Who thinks that on the basis of favorable spin track will guide them to victory and it is very much true..... IF the opponent is any other than SA. African Deadly Barrage - destruction guaranteed at any pitch, any condition & anywhere. SA will win.

  • POSTED BY mzm149 on | October 2, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    @Joe-car: Actually there is a difference between playing spin bowling and world's best spin bowling. There are many good players of pace bowling but they struggle against Steyn, Philander, Pattinson, Starc and Anderson etc when conditions favor pace bowling. Similarly it will be tough to face Ajmal and Rahman in conditions that favor their bowling.

    No doubt most of South African batsmen are better players of spin than those of other non Asian teams. But as we saw in Cape Town earlier this year, when conditions slightly favored spin bowling, Pakistan was on the brink of winning the test.

    BTW Amla is going to miss the second test as his wife is expecting.

  • POSTED BY on | October 2, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Misbah should not be the captain of pakistan,he's always on the defending side! I believe he can perform well without being captain and by performing well I meant strike rate.

  • POSTED BY on | October 2, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    Yes, Pakistan definitely has the ability to beat the South African team in the UAE series, but alas! in dreams.

  • POSTED BY babycricketer on | October 4, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    My 16 man squad for the test series is: Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Umar Amin (v/c), Younis Khan, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Abdur Rehman, Wahab Riaz, Nasir Jamshed, Umar Akmal (w/k), Adnan Akmal (w/k), Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Khurram Manzoor, Ehsan Adil, Ahmad Shehzad, Zulfiqar Babar. If you are wondering why I included Zulfiqar Babar, it's because he got a 6 wicket haul in the practice match for the SA series played by the 22 man squad and bowled beautifully. He has an awesome arm ball. For the 1st test in Abu Dhabi my 11 would be: Ahmad Shehzad, Nasir Jamshaid, Umar Amin (v/c), Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Umar Akmal, Adnan Akmal (w/k)l, Abdur Rehman, Zulfiqar Babar, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan. If they don't play 3 spinners Mohammad Irfan should come in for Abdur Rehman.

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | October 3, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    Justice Wasarirevu on (October 3, 2013, 13:13 GMT) Fella I don't agree with your reserve bowler. De Lange, Abott & Tsotsobe are ahead than Rory.

  • POSTED BY on | October 3, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    Nice gesture from Ajmal.SA will win though Pakistan will also want to prove a point and will offer some resistance.PAK !.Mazoor 2.Shazed 3.Ali 4.Yunous 5.Musba huq(CapT) 6.H Sohail 7.U Akamal 8.Rehman 9.Ajmal 10.Junaid 11.Gul reserve Shafiq and Riaz SA.Peterson 2 Smith 3.Amla 4.Kallis 5.DeVelliers 6.DuPlessis 7.Duminy 8.Philander 9.Peterson 10.Steyn 11.Morkel reserve Algar and Kleinvedldt

  • POSTED BY Crick_Expert on | October 3, 2013, 2:02 GMT

    If PCB would like a winning team then PAK TEAM for SA Tour should be as 1)Younis Kkhan(CAPT) 2) AFRIDI(V-Capt) 3)Nasir Jamshed 4)Ahmed Shahzad 5)Sohaib Maqsood 6)Shan Massood 7)Haris Sohail 8)Umar Akmal(WKT) 9)Ajmal 10)Junaid 11)Irfan

    Mr. tuktuk, Professor, Asad Safiq, Umar Gul, Azahar Ali, Adnan Akmal, Sohail Tanvir should say BYE to cricket world

  • POSTED BY t20cric on | October 2, 2013, 21:08 GMT

    When is the test squad going to be announced with just over 10 days left til the start of the first test Pakistan should definitely figure out who they want in the squad. I suggest: Taufeeq Umar, Nasir Jamshed/Khurram Manzoor/Ahmed Shehzad, Haris Sohail, Fawad Alam, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-haq(capt), Umar Akmal(back up wk but should stay on the team even as a batsman), Umar Amin, Mohammad Rizwan(wk), Junaid Khan, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Zulfiqar Babar, Usman Qadir. This squad has a lot of batsmen but not much bowlers so probably a better squad could be chosen but it is very important to pick the right batsmen for a series.

  • POSTED BY on | October 2, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    Its going to be a very good series. Certainly good for Pakistan to be playing against the best test team of the world. Being a Pakistani, i would love to see them playing good solid hard cricket against SA. Lets just not talk about the results, enjoy the cricket ! looking forward eagerly

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | October 2, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    Now the Next victim of AFRICAN DEADLY BARRAGE (Steyn, Phillander, Morkel, De Lange, Tsotsobe, Abott) is Pakistan. Who thinks that on the basis of favorable spin track will guide them to victory and it is very much true..... IF the opponent is any other than SA. African Deadly Barrage - destruction guaranteed at any pitch, any condition & anywhere. SA will win.

  • POSTED BY mzm149 on | October 2, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    @Joe-car: Actually there is a difference between playing spin bowling and world's best spin bowling. There are many good players of pace bowling but they struggle against Steyn, Philander, Pattinson, Starc and Anderson etc when conditions favor pace bowling. Similarly it will be tough to face Ajmal and Rahman in conditions that favor their bowling.

    No doubt most of South African batsmen are better players of spin than those of other non Asian teams. But as we saw in Cape Town earlier this year, when conditions slightly favored spin bowling, Pakistan was on the brink of winning the test.

    BTW Amla is going to miss the second test as his wife is expecting.

  • POSTED BY on | October 2, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Misbah should not be the captain of pakistan,he's always on the defending side! I believe he can perform well without being captain and by performing well I meant strike rate.

  • POSTED BY on | October 2, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    Yes, Pakistan definitely has the ability to beat the South African team in the UAE series, but alas! in dreams.

  • POSTED BY on | October 2, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    i think pakistan should go with three spinner with like of saeed ajmal ,rehman and zulfiquar babaar .all these 3 can bat a bit and two pace like junai and wahab riyaz who can bat a bit then comes 6th player wicket keeper adnan akmal and remaining 5 should be pure batsman like misbah captain younis khan taufeeqq umar haris sohail fumar amin thats it no place for asad and azhar haffez - fwawad alam abdulrazzaq shoul be included as all rounder option and mohd irfan 14th man in squad

  • POSTED BY Blade-Runner on | October 2, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    @ Captain_Tuk_Tuk ; Narine is a good bowler in T20's and to some extent in ODI's. Its coz batsmen don't have enough time to read him well. But in Test, he is below par. Batsmen have a plenty of time to work him and he often goes wicketless. That's the thing about being a mystery bowler. Only conventional spinners (i mean people who can actually turn the ball) have excelled in all 3 formats of the game, such as Great Murali, Warne, Ajmal, Herath , Harbajan and so on.

  • POSTED BY Blade-Runner on | October 2, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    A wise statement made by Ajmal. Pakistan are smart enough not to buy into all these revenge talks coz they can easily be backfired. We've all seen how the revenge tour turned out to be a couple of months back when England toured in India. LOL It has been proven again and again that media hype doesn't win you matches. The best thing to do is, keep your decibel level down and let the bats and balls talk. And Pakistan are on the right track in that sense. I'm sure its gonna be a very competitive series. G'luck to y'all !!!

  • POSTED BY KashifMuneer on | October 2, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    I truly hope that Hafeex bats lower down the order. Even number 3 is too high for him. He should bat at 5 or 6. Also Shafiq needs to work on his technique. I would even go as far as saying Ahzar Ali needs to be rested but you can't change the team too much so he should stay for this series. Umar Akmal should come in for Shafiq and Fawad Alam and Umar Amin should also be included. It would add great depth to batting if Umar Akmal could keep in test which he is close to achieving looking at his good keeping performance in Carribean. Also only 2 pacers should play any test in UAE conditions. My 15 man squad would be: 1. Khurram Manzoor 2. Fawad Alam 3. Azhar Ali 4. Younis Khan 5. Misbah 6. Hafeez 7. Umar Akmal 8. Adnan Akmal 9. Umar Amin 10. Rehman 11. Junaid Khan 12. Umar Gul 13. Rahat Ali 14. Samiullah Khan 15. Ajmal

  • POSTED BY NixNixon on | October 2, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    First of all I am a Saffa. Something I dont understand is all the jealousy and hatred towards SA being the number one ranked test team. As a read through some of these comments and also other articles, people use words like the "so called" and "they are not good", "still have to prove themselves" etc. Why was is so easy for people to except when the AUS or WI was playing good cricket, now that SA is number one, nobody gives us credit and almost everyone bashes the proteas and tries to prove them wrong. top two ranked bowlers in tests Steyn, Philander, 3 batsmen in top 10, arguably best allrounder ever, wickerkeeper averages 50. Number one and four ranked allrounders in test cricket is kallis and philander. HAve a look at their record over the last 3 years. Give credit where its due. No other team , including eng, have such players.

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | October 2, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    @Ibrarhunzai - Misbah is not alone. In tests Dhoni is defensive too. I still remember the silly decision to shut shop chasing 90 odd in 15 overs against WI with 7 wickets in hand. And I think he has done it twice. I think it is our asian culture to have defensive captiancy in tests. Look t SL, they bat, bat, bat and then bat some more scoring over 600+ many times and drawing matches.

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | October 2, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    @Srini_Chennai - sporting does not mean suppoers spin. The wckets should support the seamers initially and later on spin and should hava true bounce for batsman. SA have good fast bowlers. Steyn is lethal in any conditions and pakistan batting more fragile than glass. If pakistan batting comes true they should win but it may be a very tough series. Amla, AB etc are good players of spin.

  • POSTED BY Rabies on | October 2, 2013, 8:24 GMT

    Really looking forward to this- SA have performed well of late on low/ slow pitches, but Ajmal is a real threat- truly world class. That said- Pakistan's batting fragility is well known- so this is stacking up as a low scoring series- which should produce results and edge of the seat tension- fantastic!

  • POSTED BY Captain_Tuk_Tuk on | October 2, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    Ajmal is always day dreaming, he wanted to be man of the series in CT13 and before that in T20 World Cup in Srilanka. He is not that much good anymore Nariane is better than Ajmal he might be number 2 bowler on turning track but again we'll wait and see. I don't see Pakistan wining this series but maybe in UAE we can win 1-0

  • POSTED BY WildAmigo on | October 2, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    Pakistan compete closely and lost matches with near margins tests in SA and in Australia they had in winning positions but not capitalize on it. Its so sad its like they are forget how to win in crunch situations, Its players incapability to deliver in crunch situations like First t20 worldcup, like worldcup semi final both against India. Recently the worst to be beaten by Zims by 24 runs its pathetic display of batting by Pakistanis. In most of the matches they play very defensive these day, every day in cricket is another day since Moin Khan and Razzaq time their strategy is to score more in last 10 overs in ODIs is now predictable. They should be attack more in First 10 overs same as in T20s last 5 overs. In Test not willing to play shots or running singles more which is necessary to build innings.

  • POSTED BY Ibrarhunzai on | October 2, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    @Shehzar91:: Misbah has serious fear for failure. He is the most defensive captain on Earth this time. He fears risk taking.

  • POSTED BY Ibrarhunzai on | October 2, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    South Africa is still the favourites in my opinion. They are better players of spin than English players. (Although English players have also shown improved performance against spin in India)

  • POSTED BY Ibrarhunzai on | October 2, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    It will be near to umpossible to say Pak will be thrashed 3-0 in tests or will be all out on 47. I expect Pakistan to show a lot better performance. And this time PAk will not be relying only on Younus and Misbah as other youngsters have also performed welll in UAE in past.

  • POSTED BY on | October 2, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    for those who keep shouting for afridi, it is the test matches wch r more important to win rite now n afridi dosnt plat test matches any more!! for ODIs, ths shud be the test for misbah n god forbid if we lose, thn PCB must think abt next ODI captain!! till thn shut up n wait fer the series to start!!

  • POSTED BY shehzar91 on | October 2, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    Misbah is a defensive Captain. I don't understand Misbah's captaincy, he's failed as a captain. Afridi should be Captain as he is an aggressive Captain, when afridi is the captain even his own performance is lifted. Afridi scored a century in his first game as a captain in 2010 in Asia cup. Misbah is not a good finisher, as he wastes too many dot balls, look at dhoni. Dhoni makes a century if he plays 60 to 70 balls as Misbah is opposite, he has faced over 100 balls before and scored 70 odd runs. Misbah doesn't play his natural game.

  • POSTED BY on | October 2, 2013, 6:51 GMT

    pak squad is a important one,they should bring umer akmal,umar amin,especially for imran nazir for t20

  • POSTED BY drshahidsiddique on | October 2, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    Ajmal was very deceptive in SA where there wasnt much help of the track and Abdul Rehman was not playing but i feel in UAE on spinning tracks there can be problems for SA.I dont know if Pakistan will be able to beat SA but i do think it will be good contest between two teams.Retaining Misbah ul Haq with his defensive attitude,Pakistan will be looking to draw the series.Let us hope we see some good cricket thx

  • POSTED BY on | October 2, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    Although it is difficult but Pakistan has a better chance of beating South Africa in Dubai. Somehow the other the spinners have performed better and got the result. I would still put South as favourite if not hot favourite.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | October 2, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    for those of you pointing out (correctly) that Ajmal caused problems on a turning pitch in Cape Town don't forget the result of that match. A win for SA on the 4th day. Pakistan will be more competitive but you are dreaming if you think they are suddenly going to be good enough to dominate.

  • POSTED BY Srini_Indian on | October 2, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    All this hoolah of SA better equipped to spin than England is non-sense. England have two genuine world class spin bowlers like Swann, Panesar while SA have none. AB and Amla are the 2 best players of spin in the squad but facing Ajmal in spinning UAE track is altogether a different proposition. Waiting to see the impact Philander makes. This is his 1st tour to Asia, lets see whether he is really a good bowler or just another green track bully. If Pakistan batting holds up, I predict 2-0 to Pakistan provided the pitches are sporting and support spin.

  • POSTED BY Joe-car on | October 2, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    @mzm149_although I agree with you that AB and Kallis are very good player of a spinning ball, I would rate Amla a better player of spin than both of them. I would even go as far as saying he's arguably the best player of spin on the planet- pretty high praise for someone who plays the spinning ball off the pitch and mostly on the back foot. So, you have Kallis, AB and Amla. Smith is not too bad a player of spin either. The jury is still out on JP, but he seems to have rectified his glaringly weakness against off-spin and either than that, he's actually a very excellent player of spin bowling. Alviro too doesn't seem to have an obvious weakness against spin. And as for Pakistan calling the UAE neutral ground: correct me if I'm wrong but haven't they played there since 2010?

  • POSTED BY trace7094 on | October 2, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    Pakistan must have to drop ever failed openers like hafeez and imran farhat to hope winning against south Africa because to win test matches its almost a must that your openers provide you a solid foundation.umer akmal and umer amin are needed in the middle order to provide it some stability.misbah and younus will provide the experience in the middle order. adnan akmal,ajmal,rehman,junaid and rahat ali should be included to complete the playing eleven.

  • POSTED BY Haiderpakawsome on | October 2, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    simple technique, just prepare dust bowl track on which Steyn will be completely ineffective. Ajmal n spin dept are capable to take 20 Safa wickets. We need better performance from Misbah and younis though.

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | October 2, 2013, 2:29 GMT

    TO compete Pakistan must attack with 3 spinners, Ajmal Rehman and Baber. Then they must play Taufiq Umar as opner and Umar Akmal at 6.

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | October 2, 2013, 2:25 GMT

    I am a pakista supporter but I see Pakista to be beaten 3-0 again. Our selection committee will again select Mohammad Hafeez, Faisal Iqbal and Asad Shafiq. They will leave Taufiq Umar, Fwad Alam and Haris Sohail out.

  • POSTED BY Happy_hamster on | October 2, 2013, 1:24 GMT

    legsidewide on (October 1, 2013, 17:24 GMT) Well said all of this 'revenge series' every time someone gets beat is childish and frankly not in the spirit of cricket; Pakistan fans are normally more honest and know what they're talking about than some others.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | October 2, 2013, 0:59 GMT

    Pakistan has decent bowling, but who will make the runs? They rely totally on Misbah and Younus, aged 39 and 35 respectively. Zimbabwe is far from a great bowling side but they dismissed Pakistan cheaply enough to win. SA is a great bowling side, so it's hard to see Pak making enough runs to be competitive.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | October 1, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    The Test team from the probables list should be Manzoor, Shahzad, Younis, Amin, Misbah, Umar Akmal, Adnan Akmal, Abdur Rehman, Wahab Riaz, Saeed Ajmal and Junaid Khan.

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | October 1, 2013, 22:20 GMT

    @PAKisTANeee786, yes, yes, Pak. played really well to beat England in the UAE. Although it is a neutral venue, it is like a home away from home for Pak. Still, the record speak for themselves - Pak has won a grand total of 1 test since that series and that was against Zimbabwe against whom they lost a test too. Make no mistake, India is way superior to Pakistan as a test/ODI/T20 side.

  • POSTED BY t20cric on | October 1, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    This will be definitely an exciting series. Playing on UAE gives Pakistan a chance in this series. Definitely SA are no England and play spin way better then them but they also dont have a spinner even close to Ajmal/Swann standard to take advantage of the conditions. this series SA's amazing new ball bowlers will have to do the trick or else Pak's batsman will find it a lot easier to bat here and will score more runs. Another thing is that SA also struggled a lot in SL against the spinners although those were ODIs and Kallis and Smith were not playing also SA always struggle in SL. But anyways that should be a worrying thing for SA cuz Pakistan have a better spin attack then SL and are likely to prepare spin friendly fields. Pakistan's batting should be better this series but u never know with Pak. They still havent announced their test squad but judging by the players in the camp it doesn't seem like the best have been selected (Fawad,Haris,Taufeeq). Against SA Pak will need 500+runs

  • POSTED BY gsingh7 on | October 1, 2013, 21:33 GMT

    with the type of defeats that pak suffered in sa i dont know they can even match these defeats. all matches of 3-0 series loss ending in 4 days with massive defeat margins. even sl boasts good home record but its more important u win abroad. pak lost 3 series in aus 3-0 in a row previously. so their away record has been dismal to say the least. hope they recover from dip in form(not sure its form or something else). good luck pak, wishing u to become competitive again.love from india.plz publish.

  • POSTED BY asiacricket1234 on | October 1, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    To win a test what Pakistan needs is big innings from Misbah and Younis and Lots of wicket from Ajmal. At the moment these three are the only international quality players they have. In last SL series SA batsmen struggled against the Lankan spinner so I think they will find it harder to score against the like of Ajmal, Rehman

  • POSTED BY PAKisTANeee786 on | October 1, 2013, 18:21 GMT

    @Shan156, who says that Pakistan is the worlds best team? No one has ever said that, so i don't know were you are getting that from. After white-washing the number one 1 side on a neutral venue when no one expected anything was a BIG thing bro, so i wouldn't blame anyone who said they were the best test team after that acheiavement, specially knowing how are our neighbours struggled to even being competitive against England at their home. However, things have been different now, and we have to do better. Inshallah you will see the difference this series.

  • POSTED BY SaadRocx on | October 1, 2013, 18:14 GMT

    Just Give them Rank Turners like India gave to Australia in their last test series..Where bowl turns 360 Deg...and then see how the so called #1 Team in the world Cop with it..Bring In Zulfiqar Babar in tests and he would prove to be Nightmere for Saffers...2-0 for Pak..

  • POSTED BY on | October 1, 2013, 18:12 GMT

    Pakistan Bowling can do fine . Batting must be Reinforced with Umar Akmal , Nasir Jamshed , Ahmed shezad and Fawad Alam all together with seniors Younis and misbah. No Azhar , Asad , Khurram or any other tried and not doing so good Batsmen. Batting is in serious Disarray . Hafeez can perhaps come in for his handy bowling and Umar Akmal can keep. Saeed , Junaid , Anwar Ali and another Seamer or all rounder. Younis will have to bowl also.

  • POSTED BY samincolumbia on | October 1, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    With the dodgy pitches in UAE, Pakistan may be able to put up a better performance against SA. But then after the embarassing loss to Zimbabwe, losing 3-0 to SA would be proclaimed as a win by Pakistani fans.

  • POSTED BY on | October 1, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    Alright Guys, I am going to predict Pak wins 2-0. A lot of people will be bashing at me, but I am a Pakistani fan. I always back them up no matter what. They are the best team in the world if they play to their potential. Pak seem attack will be great. Umar Gul, junaid khan, Muhammad Irfan. In spin department, there will be saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, and Mohammad Hafeez.We need Hafeez in UAE. Adnan akmal will be keeper. Misbah,Younus, umar amin, and umar akmal in the middle and lower middle order. Hafeez can open with any opener they are taking to UAE such as Khurram manzoor or Nasir jamshed or even Azhar Ali can open.

  • POSTED BY bohurupi on | October 1, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    Fawad Alam should be given a chance. We all know that Pakistan's success depends how well they can bat. The batsmen should exert aggression with caution. Pakistan should try to open with a new pair of openers. Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali may better be dropped but they may bat better in UAE conditions, you never know!

  • POSTED BY maddy20 on | October 1, 2013, 17:45 GMT

    They drew a series vs Zim and want to beat SA? I am tempted to quote the phrase "in your dreams"!

  • POSTED BY on | October 1, 2013, 17:41 GMT

    Dale steyn's plan is always very simple,slips and continuous bowling outside the off stump daring batsmen to go after him with facial expression of being bored and frustrated. Pakistani batsmen should use the Rope A Dope Technique invented by boxer Muhammad Ali . There is no hurry in a test match take your time and wear him out .Good luck!

  • POSTED BY mzm149 on | October 1, 2013, 17:35 GMT

    This is a competition between A B de Villiers / Kallis and Pakistani spin bowlers. Rest are not that good players of spin bowling. Pakistan will make square turners this time instead of flat tracks like the last encounter against South Africa in UAE. I can't wait to watch South African batsmen surrounded by fielders facing Saeed Ajmal, Rahman and Zulfiqar Babar.

    This is is a real test for South Africa - facing best spin attack in the world in alien conditions. If they pass this test, they really deserve to remain at no. 1 for coming 4, 5 years.

  • POSTED BY on | October 1, 2013, 17:34 GMT

    In response to some comments, The last time SA visited UAE the wicket were full flat. During England series wickets were not that flat , they were good turning wickets. If you see wickets of ajmal, rehman, swan, & Monty then that was a lot. Pakistan needs to make turning wickets if they want to win the series.

    b- SA have good players of Spin, no doubt. But we should not forget the 2nd test in Pak tour to Sa where little bit spin was available and Only ajmal was playing. So you cant really say that SA will be winning that easy or playing spin that much easily.

    C- It will not be easy for Pakitan or SA to win . Yes SA may face trouble in playing spin but we should also remember that in almost each game during England tour , Braod & Anderson did get good wickets. So wickets do support the fast bowlers early on. So i dont think it will be that easy for PAK as well as for SA. Plus the recent form of majority of PAk batsmen tells the story.

    Overall good series to follow,.

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | October 1, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    @LeftBrain maybe it's time to engage your right brain. If you recall, it was England's batsman who were pathetic in that series, and the bowlers who did a good job (they took 50 wickets, and Pakistan only piled on a commanding total in one innings throughout the series).

  • POSTED BY on | October 1, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    Yes agree there is no such thing revenge in cricket. even if paksitan win this 2-0 , whenever paskitan's tour to SA will be remebered, it will always be rembered for 3-0 white wash.

    Pakistan need to select right team. and good batsmen. If irfan is not selected then we need some good fast bowler with junaid.

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | October 1, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    Why are journalists trying so hard to put a "revenge" spin on this series? Pakistan weren't wronged in the previous South Africa series, we were beaten. That doesn't mean it's a cause for revenge, but an opportunity for redemption. It will be tough going, South Africa aren't England and aren't going to roll over and collapse when they feel a little pressure in a test (ODIs seem to be a different matter though.) I wish they'd made it a 3 test series though.

  • POSTED BY Omarrz on | October 1, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    RSA will get the pain from Ajmal and Rehman.. They struggled against Ajmal in the 2nd test as well in the last series. I don't see them performing any better than that 2nd test in the upcoming series. Last time they played against Pak in UAE, both tests were drawn but then Ajmal and Rehman's combo wasn't feared much.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | October 1, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    Southafrica are no England that they can't play spin. Their batsmen are more than capable of playing spin. Amla and devilliers are one of the best against spin. So they need help from fast bowlers as well. It should b a good series though. Score line will be 1-0 to Africa.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | October 1, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    Since the series is to be played in the UAE, the flat pitches will ensure the Pakistani batsmen don't fail miserably. Because, the whole world knows what is Pakistan's major weakness - it's their batting. Their bowling will do well against SA which will keep the series competitive. It will be good to have a scoreline that isn't 0-0 though that's more likely given the dull pitches around the UAE. Ajmal though should pick up a handful of wickets.

  • POSTED BY zzby on | October 1, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    Pakistan captain is to defense otherwise he can play 1 off spinner,1 left arm spinner + 1 leggie + Junaid +if he has medium pacer who can bat(they dont have any currently and they dont want to develop one also).

    Then there would be no chance for South Africans..

  • POSTED BY on | October 1, 2013, 16:12 GMT

    not appreciated comments by Ajmal, never take ur rival that easy

  • POSTED BY on | October 1, 2013, 16:00 GMT

    Bring in Fawad Alam in place of Asad Shafiq in tests, or open with him. He is a must a have in the team especially test team.

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | October 1, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    I hope Pak. are put in their place by #1 SA. Pak. have been flying high since they beat Eng. in 2012 although their record since that series has been pathetic. They even lost to Zimbabwe but their players and fans still talk as if they are the best team in the world.

    cricinfo, please publish.

  • POSTED BY CricketChat on | October 1, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    I am not worried about Pak bowling at all. They can take on anybody on present form. It is their batting which is of most concern. That their main hopes are Younis and Misbah alone tells how fragile it is. Unless their openers blunt out SA pace bowling, they have no chance in the series.

  • POSTED BY mukesh_LOVE.cricket on | October 1, 2013, 15:37 GMT

    @leftbrain - have you even followed that Pakistan England series ? , in fact its England batting which let them down , their bowlers for the entire series were very competitive and took them to winning positions , only to see their batsmen blowing it

  • POSTED BY cricdick on | October 1, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    No revenge talks in cricket please.

  • POSTED BY Clan_McLachlan on | October 1, 2013, 15:23 GMT

    It'll be tougher than the series in SA, for sure. Last time in the UAE Pak were lucky to escape with a 0-0 tie, I'm expecting the same flat pitches and the same result this time.

    The key for SA is whether Philander and Morkel can take wickets in the conditions. Steyn can't take all 20 on his own. I have my doubts, especially about Philander, but we'll see. If at least two of the top 6 have good series the batting will be ok.

    Pak will need Ajmal and Rehman to dominate like they did against England, and with help from Junaid restrict the totals to small ones that are gettable by their wonky batting lineup. Pak batting is impossible to predict.

    On the dead pitches both sides will want to win the toss, bat once, and leave themselves the better part of three days to get the 20 wickets to win.

  • POSTED BY on | October 1, 2013, 15:10 GMT

    The same rhetoric and vigorous predictions which were in the air before Pakistan was taking on England that Pakistan stood no chance against the mighty English line-up. But to the contrary England was white washed. I wont say the heroics would be repeated on the same line but bear one thing mind that Pakistan did it before and certainly is capable to repeat the feat!!!!

  • POSTED BY Saddam_Rasool on | October 1, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    South Africa is far better batting side than England especially when facing Spin. England strategy was to survive which on a difficult wasnt a great idea. SA on the other hand will take on bowlers and try to score runs. Ajmal and Rehman will eventually get them but scores will be higher. Against England, Pakistan scored around 450 in last two tests and still won. This cannot be the case against South Africa and Pakistan must add around 550 to win it.

  • POSTED BY on | October 1, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    2012 series back in SA , 2nd test the pitch was turning and SA had a narrow escape , else we would have gone into a tie breaker in the third test match ... mind it ,we are not playing at home like others and it takes a lot to adjust in alien conditions ,for this series ,i see it atleast 1-0 in favour of Pakistan (provided the batting clicks)...facing Steyn & Co here = 45 to 50% less effective as they r at home and facing Saeed Ajmal & Co here =45 to 50% more effective ...

  • POSTED BY LeftBrain on | October 1, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    Beating England doesnt count, although they had a decent batting lineup in 2012 their bowling is pretty average to be honest. After playing most of their cricket in bowling friendly pitches, all of Eng bowlers average on the wrong side of 30s. Any decent bowler would have an average below 24 if bowling on Eng, Aus, NZ and SA pitches for the most part of their career. SA is a far balanced side, they have better batsmen and better bowlers. Playing with SA will definitely test Pakistan. I think 0-0 will be a great result for Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY PPL11 on | October 1, 2013, 14:37 GMT

    I hope Pakistan's batting clicks if it does then they have bowlers to clean the SA batting line up it will be very good contest in UAE - Best luck from India

  • POSTED BY dirtydozen on | October 1, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    it will be a testing time for philander as this will be his 2nd test match series away from south africa after australia. as asian conditions are different from australia and south africa. And why are South Africa relying on peterson or tahir. why can't they try someone new.

  • POSTED BY on | October 1, 2013, 14:13 GMT

    If PCB selects a strong team by bringing back Umar Akmal, Taufeeq and by giving Shehzad a chance + select good soilds and aggressive players for ODIs and T20s than inshallah we can beat The Proteas

  • POSTED BY Stark62 on | October 1, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    I don't think Pak should even DREAM of winning against SA, with the likes of Amin, Shafiq, Azhar, Faisal and Shan Masood in the squad.

    I remember against Eng, Broad alone tore through the Pak batting line up and Anderson wasn't bad either but fortunately for Pak, Ajmal rescued the batting line up from humiliation, along with some help from Rehman.

    Steyn is head and shoulders above Anderson and Broad, plus Vernon is at least on par with both and not to forget, Morkel.

    Lastly, SA have better players of spin, compared with Eng.

  • POSTED BY delpihero on | October 1, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    0-0 will be a great result like last time in the UAE between the 2 countries

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  • POSTED BY delpihero on | October 1, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    0-0 will be a great result like last time in the UAE between the 2 countries

  • POSTED BY Stark62 on | October 1, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    I don't think Pak should even DREAM of winning against SA, with the likes of Amin, Shafiq, Azhar, Faisal and Shan Masood in the squad.

    I remember against Eng, Broad alone tore through the Pak batting line up and Anderson wasn't bad either but fortunately for Pak, Ajmal rescued the batting line up from humiliation, along with some help from Rehman.

    Steyn is head and shoulders above Anderson and Broad, plus Vernon is at least on par with both and not to forget, Morkel.

    Lastly, SA have better players of spin, compared with Eng.

  • POSTED BY on | October 1, 2013, 14:13 GMT

    If PCB selects a strong team by bringing back Umar Akmal, Taufeeq and by giving Shehzad a chance + select good soilds and aggressive players for ODIs and T20s than inshallah we can beat The Proteas

  • POSTED BY dirtydozen on | October 1, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    it will be a testing time for philander as this will be his 2nd test match series away from south africa after australia. as asian conditions are different from australia and south africa. And why are South Africa relying on peterson or tahir. why can't they try someone new.

  • POSTED BY PPL11 on | October 1, 2013, 14:37 GMT

    I hope Pakistan's batting clicks if it does then they have bowlers to clean the SA batting line up it will be very good contest in UAE - Best luck from India

  • POSTED BY LeftBrain on | October 1, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    Beating England doesnt count, although they had a decent batting lineup in 2012 their bowling is pretty average to be honest. After playing most of their cricket in bowling friendly pitches, all of Eng bowlers average on the wrong side of 30s. Any decent bowler would have an average below 24 if bowling on Eng, Aus, NZ and SA pitches for the most part of their career. SA is a far balanced side, they have better batsmen and better bowlers. Playing with SA will definitely test Pakistan. I think 0-0 will be a great result for Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY on | October 1, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    2012 series back in SA , 2nd test the pitch was turning and SA had a narrow escape , else we would have gone into a tie breaker in the third test match ... mind it ,we are not playing at home like others and it takes a lot to adjust in alien conditions ,for this series ,i see it atleast 1-0 in favour of Pakistan (provided the batting clicks)...facing Steyn & Co here = 45 to 50% less effective as they r at home and facing Saeed Ajmal & Co here =45 to 50% more effective ...

  • POSTED BY Saddam_Rasool on | October 1, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    South Africa is far better batting side than England especially when facing Spin. England strategy was to survive which on a difficult wasnt a great idea. SA on the other hand will take on bowlers and try to score runs. Ajmal and Rehman will eventually get them but scores will be higher. Against England, Pakistan scored around 450 in last two tests and still won. This cannot be the case against South Africa and Pakistan must add around 550 to win it.

  • POSTED BY on | October 1, 2013, 15:10 GMT

    The same rhetoric and vigorous predictions which were in the air before Pakistan was taking on England that Pakistan stood no chance against the mighty English line-up. But to the contrary England was white washed. I wont say the heroics would be repeated on the same line but bear one thing mind that Pakistan did it before and certainly is capable to repeat the feat!!!!

  • POSTED BY Clan_McLachlan on | October 1, 2013, 15:23 GMT

    It'll be tougher than the series in SA, for sure. Last time in the UAE Pak were lucky to escape with a 0-0 tie, I'm expecting the same flat pitches and the same result this time.

    The key for SA is whether Philander and Morkel can take wickets in the conditions. Steyn can't take all 20 on his own. I have my doubts, especially about Philander, but we'll see. If at least two of the top 6 have good series the batting will be ok.

    Pak will need Ajmal and Rehman to dominate like they did against England, and with help from Junaid restrict the totals to small ones that are gettable by their wonky batting lineup. Pak batting is impossible to predict.

    On the dead pitches both sides will want to win the toss, bat once, and leave themselves the better part of three days to get the 20 wickets to win.