Pakistan in South Africa 2012-13 January 20, 2013

Philander returns for Pakistan Tests

ESPNcricinfo staff
146

Vernon Philander, the South Africa seamer, has recovered from the hamstring injury that had ruled him out of the second Test against New Zealand, and is part of the squad for the first Test against Pakistan in Johannesburg starting on February 1. The only player from the squad for the Tests against New Zealand who doesn't find a mention for the first Test against Pakistan is seamer Ryan McLaren.

"We have given a full vote of confidence to the squad of 13 that did duty in the recent Sunfoil Series against New Zealand," Andrew Hudson, Cricket South Africa's selection convenor, said. "Rory Kleinveldt and Jacques Rudolph will again provide the bowling and batting cover if necessary. At the moment there are no injury concerns.

"We are very happy with the job that Rory did against New Zealand when Vernon dropped out, while Jacques provides us with a lot of experience as the cover batsman. We have quite a few inexperienced batsmen in our top order and we feel that a bit of extra experience will be useful should the need arise."

South Africa beat New Zealand comprehensively, winning both Tests, and play Pakistan in three Test matches, in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Centurion.

South Africa squad: Graeme Smith (capt), Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Jacques Kallis, Rory Kleinveldt, Morne Morkel, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Jacques Rudolph, Dale Steyn.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Has3 on January 23, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    Plz note... 2-1 win to Pakistan

  • love_our_cricket on January 23, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    This is going to be a cracking series. Leaving all the bashing and abusing. we will finally get to see some good cricket. All in all, whosoever wins by whatsoever margin, it will be the spectator's victory. I also believe in a very long time, this will be a series of bowlers rather than batsmen,just like in the 70s and 80s, with batsmen only scoring on their techniques instead of the helping pitches. Both teams have a realistic chance of taking this, but home advantage is South Africa's . Pakistan is not a bad team but they have not yet played in bowling friendly conditions, and that will be a real test. Still looking for a fascinating series. The first tour match will probably show what the series is going to contain.

  • mthi4life on January 22, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    If Pakistan can make the game last for four to five days the might have a chance,But then again there are five SA batsman who are in the Top 20 in the rankings,not to mention Faf.Sorry Pakistan u are just going to help the Proteas extend the points on the ranking system.

  • Syed_imran_abbas on January 21, 2013, 17:41 GMT

    I am so glad that people from all around are waiting for this this series. Few negative comments from some indians but apart from that its a quite awaited series for cricket lovers. I hope Pakistani Teams show some good cricket. All we wana see and good contest between and a number one test side and a number one talented side. can't wait the series to begin.

  • Nisargorsi on January 21, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    It ll b a great test for new cummers who just joined Pakistan team few months back in like of Junaid khan ,Muhammad Arfan how they bowl in SOuth Africa..nd lot more depend on SAeed ajmal too..Nodoubt he is world class bowler not easy to face him so there will be somehow great compitition between Amla,Smith,Kallis,Pietersen,Devilliers and PAk bowling..Pakistan batting is always a issue specially on bouncy track but i hope this time MISbah ,Jamshed,HAfeez,TAufeeq,Younas ,Azhar nd Shafiq play well specially they early over of MORkel and Steyn..I am sure if Pakistani batsman able to make some great partnerships then it ll b a great series to watch out..

  • Solid_Snake on January 21, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    Leave Steyn & Philander asie..I am more worried about Pieterson..The way our batsmen played him in lately..It seemed like Pak batsmen were totally clueless against him

  • Cricket_Man on January 21, 2013, 15:06 GMT

    I can't see Saffers handling Junaid, Irfan, Gul and Ajmal. Pakistani batting not as weak as our fellow Saffers think. Pakistan should win comfortably, a white wash :)

  • AnasK on January 21, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    Remember Hafeez-Steyn rivalry in the last Test series in UAE?... Where Hafeez used to smash Steyn for few boundaries early on and then Steyn strikes back with his wicket. Lots of stare also from Steyn. Hope to see it again but this time don't want the wicket thing to happen. ;)

  • Furyss on January 21, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    a suggestion to gary " rest Steyn,Morkel and Philander for tests" a new bowling hero will arise in the shape of Robin Peterson

  • stix1976 on January 21, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    I cant see Pakistan handling our bowlers on the bouncy S.A wickets. SA should win comfortably.

  • Has3 on January 23, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    Plz note... 2-1 win to Pakistan

  • love_our_cricket on January 23, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    This is going to be a cracking series. Leaving all the bashing and abusing. we will finally get to see some good cricket. All in all, whosoever wins by whatsoever margin, it will be the spectator's victory. I also believe in a very long time, this will be a series of bowlers rather than batsmen,just like in the 70s and 80s, with batsmen only scoring on their techniques instead of the helping pitches. Both teams have a realistic chance of taking this, but home advantage is South Africa's . Pakistan is not a bad team but they have not yet played in bowling friendly conditions, and that will be a real test. Still looking for a fascinating series. The first tour match will probably show what the series is going to contain.

  • mthi4life on January 22, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    If Pakistan can make the game last for four to five days the might have a chance,But then again there are five SA batsman who are in the Top 20 in the rankings,not to mention Faf.Sorry Pakistan u are just going to help the Proteas extend the points on the ranking system.

  • Syed_imran_abbas on January 21, 2013, 17:41 GMT

    I am so glad that people from all around are waiting for this this series. Few negative comments from some indians but apart from that its a quite awaited series for cricket lovers. I hope Pakistani Teams show some good cricket. All we wana see and good contest between and a number one test side and a number one talented side. can't wait the series to begin.

  • Nisargorsi on January 21, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    It ll b a great test for new cummers who just joined Pakistan team few months back in like of Junaid khan ,Muhammad Arfan how they bowl in SOuth Africa..nd lot more depend on SAeed ajmal too..Nodoubt he is world class bowler not easy to face him so there will be somehow great compitition between Amla,Smith,Kallis,Pietersen,Devilliers and PAk bowling..Pakistan batting is always a issue specially on bouncy track but i hope this time MISbah ,Jamshed,HAfeez,TAufeeq,Younas ,Azhar nd Shafiq play well specially they early over of MORkel and Steyn..I am sure if Pakistani batsman able to make some great partnerships then it ll b a great series to watch out..

  • Solid_Snake on January 21, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    Leave Steyn & Philander asie..I am more worried about Pieterson..The way our batsmen played him in lately..It seemed like Pak batsmen were totally clueless against him

  • Cricket_Man on January 21, 2013, 15:06 GMT

    I can't see Saffers handling Junaid, Irfan, Gul and Ajmal. Pakistani batting not as weak as our fellow Saffers think. Pakistan should win comfortably, a white wash :)

  • AnasK on January 21, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    Remember Hafeez-Steyn rivalry in the last Test series in UAE?... Where Hafeez used to smash Steyn for few boundaries early on and then Steyn strikes back with his wicket. Lots of stare also from Steyn. Hope to see it again but this time don't want the wicket thing to happen. ;)

  • Furyss on January 21, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    a suggestion to gary " rest Steyn,Morkel and Philander for tests" a new bowling hero will arise in the shape of Robin Peterson

  • stix1976 on January 21, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    I cant see Pakistan handling our bowlers on the bouncy S.A wickets. SA should win comfortably.

  • shwet14 on January 21, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    There are players and there are great players but there are very very few who reach a status of awe,fear, even reverence. There was the west indian pacemen- Roberts, Holding, Garner, Marshal who created fear in the batsmans mind for a long time. Lillee & Thommo did the same for a while. Indian spin quarte achieved the same status with their guile for a while. There was an inevitability about them grabbing wickets. They not only got batsmen out but most were left psychologically shaken by their bowling. This is far more difficult than merely getting someone out. Guess, Steyn is reaching that status very fast. If he continues in the same vein for 3-4 years, he will surely be qualified as an all time great fast bowler, if he has not already reached that status.

  • mzm149 on January 21, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    @Harmony111 and Cpt.Meanster: Thanks for your good wishes for team Pakistan.

  • SherjilIslam on January 21, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    @Integerity1: You got it all wrong.India were a strong competitor to Aus when Steve Waugh led Aussies were destroying every opponent coming their way in 2000-2001.They were even not allowing a side to have draw irrespective of Home or away.At that time, not only India stopped their voyage of 16 wins in a row, they also gone on to win the series with 2-1. When the reverse series happened, in 2002, Australia struggled against India in all the matches and barely able to draw the series 1-1 with some exceptional determination from Steve Waugh in his Sydney test. India could have easily won the series in 2008 when the Sydney fiasco happened and so many wrong decisions went against us.It was no surprise, that India defeated Aussies in the next test at Perth despite being presented with one of the fastest pitch of Perth history just to prove Aussie arrogance.

  • Integrity1 on January 21, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    @getsetgopk: "History tells us every mighty has had its challenger, WI had Pak back in the day and Auss had Ind in 2000." Australia's challenger was India in 2000?... INDIA? Dude, what universe are you living in? Australia's challengers in 2000's were England (who beat them both home and away in the Ashes) and South Africa (who beat Australia twice in Australia). Please remind me how many times your "challenger" India has won a series against Australia IN Australia?

  • I.Aziz on January 21, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    It's good for Pakistan that SA beat NZ the way they did now the are full of over confidence (which they might not feel but they will be) which is quite normal after such a huge victory. Pakistan should be ready to cut through an off guard SA as professionalism should require of them to do so. Go greens don't hesitate or blink for a second.

  • getsetgopk on January 21, 2013, 7:41 GMT

    This test series could very well turn out to be a defining one in test cricket for some time to come. If SA comes out of it unscrached then they will rule for some time to come. Pak, the last in line that one could pin any hope of challenging the mighty, if Pak can manage to win or even draw the series, it will be the rebirth of Pak-WI of the 80s syle of cricket. History tells us every mighty has had its challenger, WI had Pak back in the day and Auss had Ind in 2000, whos going to be SA's challenge other than Pak knowing that they have beaten both Eng and Auss in their backyard comprehensiely. Or could this be Pakistan's decade, interesting times ahead indeed.

  • ejsiddiqui on January 21, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    Most of the people are going too back to analyze Pakistan performance. Keep in mind that is a different team after 2010 controversy (as per attitude). Our current batsman are not very attractive but they don't throw their wickets (SA came to know it in UAE). Bowling is constantly improving.

    --- Pak Test Record Since Last SA Series: W9,D7,L1 ---- ----SA Test Record Since Last Pak Series: W9,D8,L3 ----

  • I.Aziz on January 21, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    People who think that Nasir is an average player are hugely mistaken or don't have a very good idea of what top 3 positions mean in cricketing terms specially when the ball swings. Only a player who plays late can survive that kind of bowling as Azhar Ali did on English tour and as Nasir did in India (after the 1st T20 failure) all the four games he made runs and survived the prodigious new ball movement by Kumar. So people think that he will fail against swing better think again and he is also good against short stuff only thing which I wait for is how he handles genuine pace and aggression, I am sure he will do that pretty well also.

  • Solid_Snake on January 21, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    I do hope that Pakistan team play well in this tour..I know thst winning a test match against SA is a tough job.If we manage to draw a match,that would be an achievement for Pak..I wonder where is our Fast Bowler Tanvir..The guy who helped Pak win matches in NZ & our last tour to SA..

  • SyedAftab on January 21, 2013, 5:48 GMT

    It will be very tough for Pak team to beat SAF in their country. But Pak team term as "unpredictable", so anything you can expect from team pakistan. They have beaten Australia in England, England in England in 2010 not seires but a test match on the pitches which were favoring them.

  • BaasHerman on January 21, 2013, 5:10 GMT

    I can't see Pakistan winning any of the tests. The proteas are too strong! But at least in this series the tests will go to 5 days! The proteas haven't lost a test series for quite a while now and I highly doubt that they will lose this one in their own backyard...

  • on January 21, 2013, 4:59 GMT

    Pakistani team win or lose is most entertaining team and wherever they go spectators love and support them. This is the only team loved by all countries mostly the reason is that they have most original most unique self made talent.

    Glad to see one team is loved by all countries. I know Afghanistan is also loved very much but they don't have test status.

    Pak may win 2-1 series in SA. Batting will be the real problem.

  • on January 21, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    Pakistan is having really top-class fast bowlers and I sincerely hope that MoIrfan will last for at least two tests. Saffers will really be tested by his pace and bounce and also if Junaid bowls like the same as he bowled against Srilanka in their home-test series it would be a treat-to-watch test series. Pakistani batters just need to be confident and only one among the top 6 should take the responsibility to carry the innings and others can revolve around him. Azhar, Younas, Misbah, Asad should feel that once they score in excess of 300 runs than their bowlers always have the capability to rise to the occasion. I am hoping that this team will do wonders in South Africa, but for starters South Africa are the favorites but keep one thing in mind that Pakistan have the history of playing extraordinarily well when they are Under-dogs. So may ALMIGHTY bless them with their first ever Test-series win in South Africa.

    Cricinfo please do post my comment......

  • Cpt.Meanster on January 21, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    I have little doubt that Pakistani fast bowlers will use the South African conditions well. However, the same cannot be said about their batting line up. More than class or skill it's their inexperience which will ultimately cost Pakistan the series. If Pakistan score at least 350 runs, their bowling has the venom to trouble SA. However, if Pakistan end up scoring below 300 then they are in trouble. Going by history, I cannot see Pakistan winning or even being competitive in this series. Playing in the UAE and playing in SA are totally different. Having said that, I wish the Pakistani team the very best unlike some of their followers who only talk trash about India. I hope all Indian fans come together and wish the Pakistani team well. Let us show some class in that regard.

  • Harmony111 on January 21, 2013, 3:40 GMT

    Pak team have my best wishes and I do hope to see some exceptional bowling in this series cos both the teams have the ability of bowling the other for <100 if the conditions are even slightly in favour.

    That said, I am sure even the most optimist Pak fan is not really expecting Pak to win this series. The reason? SA batting is far superior to Pak batsmen and this will be ack by Pak fans themselves.

    Pak's best chance will be if it remains persistently cloudy in the matches so that the adv SA have in batting can be nullified.

    And while Junaid & Irfan are exciting talents, pls don't label them as the next Wasims already. That is not only premature but will also be detrimental to these bowlers's prospects.

    My feeling is that there will be a result in all the tests unless it rains heavily. Pak will win a few sessions for sure with their bowling. I do foresee a few cases where SA collapse from 250-4 to 280 a.o. but will Pak be able to win a test? Let's see...

    Have a no-issue tour Pak :)

  • TheBigBoodha on January 21, 2013, 2:48 GMT

    Still waiting for Philander to bowl in the WI or sub-continent. Has any player ever had such and extended run of playing in conducive conditions? Mind you, he struggled on the drier turf of Australia, as you'd expect for someone who bowls at his pace.

  • MadhushaDmendis on January 21, 2013, 2:30 GMT

    pakistan got 2 nd best bowling attack after SA ,So if their batsmans gave an opportunity their bowlers By possing a good score ... I think even SA can beatable..Because SA team goes lots of pressure when opposition team scored big score.. Don't forget they got couple of good seamers ..that 7 feet guy.and junaid khan who kneeled down virat kohli...and umar gul and saeed ajmal..so it will depend on how well batsman batting in these condition...

  • Zahidsaltin on January 21, 2013, 1:05 GMT

    @ Poonam Sharma, It is the second Poonam Sharma I ever communicated to and they both were exceptionally sweet. Thanks for the "good wishes to Pak from an indian fan" a rare commodity really. :-) Now Mehreen Khan, dear our most consistant batsman in last 2 years has been Azhar Ali who scored on all type of wickets. Hafeez has a good avg too in recent times.

  • PAK-92 on January 20, 2013, 23:50 GMT

    I am quite looking forward to this tour especially the test series. I think this is the first time in quite a few years we are going on a tour outside of Asia, with a squad i genuinely think can play and compete well against a top team like South Africa on their pitches. I don't think we can win but you never know. But i expect a fight and gutsy performance from our men in green. This is a great opportunity for our younger players to test themselves against top quality bowlers and batsmen. Win, lose or draw hopefully we can show the world how far we have come from the scandals of 2010 and showcase the talent we have to offer. Lets hope for a scandal free tour and top quality performances from both sides. And i hope the test series is competetive unlike the South Africa and New Zealand series.

  • on January 20, 2013, 22:24 GMT

    Unlike the Indian batsmen Pak batsmen are not flat track bullies. I think the pak top order is much more stable now and will score at least 250 in most innings. If the lower order pinch hitters can score approx 100 the team will end up with 350 on avg. After that it will be up to the bowlers. Given that SA batsmen are in superb form it will be very hard to restrict them to below 350. This means that SA will win most matches. Most probably SA 2 Pak 1 in tests. This is honest analysis. However, I personally would love to see Pak winning.

  • GreenTeam-Elite on January 20, 2013, 21:54 GMT

    Dear All This Time Pakistan Will Win Test Series by 2-1, ODI 3-2 & T20 1-1 So Stay Cool...Junaid, Irfan, Ajmal , Rehman are Going to Destroy South African Batting Line up & Nasir, Azhar, Asad, Misbah, Younus are Going to Make Good Score!!! Wait & Watch...

  • jonahv on January 20, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    @petercharsi: hey mate you are right that pakistani player will suffer against SA, but do you consider india as minnows? lol you better check your record, its just this one series that pakistan played really well and deserved to win but check last 10 yrs record between india and pakistan. Also your comments shows how much knowledge you got for cricket.

  • Robster1 on January 20, 2013, 21:02 GMT

    How close now is Kyle Abbott to Test selection ?

  • petercharsi on January 20, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    The Pakistani batsmen are club cricketers, they have zero technique and probably are the worst of their kind. They can only score centuries against minnows like India and when playing against the rest they fail miserably. The pakistani 2020 captain Mohammad Hafeez is pathetic, what kind if an allrounder is he, just look at his recent performances, he only managed to get runs against small kids in India. They have a hugely over rsted bowling attack, Junaid Khan is an average bowler. He was able to ridicule kohli but what will he do against real batsmen like Amla. In the end i would like to say that there is only one batsman that is calable of facing this siuthafrican bowling attack and he is Umar Gul ;)

  • on January 20, 2013, 19:43 GMT

    @ Mehreen Khan, U r not a pakistani and using a fake account, so don't pretend to be one. Pak are clearly the best asian side.

  • gsingh7 on January 20, 2013, 19:11 GMT

    supporting sa to win 3-0 here , pak always surrender on bouncy pitches also they surrender to india in wc matches, they made a habit of surrendering. hoping sa bowl pak out twice inside 3 days along with posting above 450 runs in first innings, amla leading from front

  • ammar7may on January 20, 2013, 19:05 GMT

    Most new fast bowlers surprise at earlier appearances. Vernon has consistently done it against most aggressive stroke players. Presence of Styne at the other end urges stroke players to attack him, and thus be prey of his venomous swing. Pakistani players except Hafeez and Jamshed are not aggressive stroke players. Taufiq, Asad, Azhar and Younis will not fall prey of Vernon, rather Styne will be crucial for them. All they have the capability to go past 30 against quality attack on fast track. There will be surely several lower order partnerships, as SA get proud after earlier success. I believe after rattling during first test, Pakistani team will settle, and a win for them will not be surprising. Look at SA's defeat against NZ in first ODI. They are tough, but not invincible. Pakistan will be playing with 4 bowlers to prolong batting. 250 will be good score. All the matches will surely end in 3-4 days, except those rained. I expect an overall quality cricket.

  • Aura123 on January 20, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    SA is stronger than Pak but it will really cracking series can't wait. Come on Pak

  • on January 20, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    Arun Karthik --

    thanks dear bt to be hounest, i dont think pak is the best asian side. it has to be either SL or india because our batsmen except younis, misbah cant really be trustedd on fast and bouncy grounds. bt yeah in bowling we are gud

  • on January 20, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    Poonam Sharma --

    thanks for your wishes poonam. i also like Indian batsmen. i hope Pakistan too can have a good batting line-up like that of India. koohli is my favourite.

  • SaadRocx on January 20, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    I think Pak will gonna lose badly in SA...3-0 in favor of SA is my prediction...and my prediction is 99.99% right always.

  • SamAsh07 on January 20, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    South Africa's batting line-up is as unstable as Pakistan itself, just look at their woeful performance in the ODI against NZ (a side with a young bowling unit and quite frankly the weakest) then add to the fact that Pakistan has the best bowling line-up currently in the world and you have a great series to watch-out for. South Africa has great seamers but not spinners while Pakistan has a full package in bowlers. If anything this is more a Pak bowlers vs SA bowlers series rather than the Batsmen.

  • tententen on January 20, 2013, 18:27 GMT

    a loss for pak in this series and india win against OZ could give them a realistic chance of recieving cash reward

  • DeckChairand6pack on January 20, 2013, 18:18 GMT

    This one's going to be a Cracker whatever the outcome, the cricket viewing audience should be the winner. The Pakistani batters are going to be tested like never before. Dale, Vernon and Morne will attacking the line outside off relentlessly. From time to time they will dig one in to get up to the chest/throat region just to make sure the batsmen's paying attention.

    As far as our batting is concerned, any perception the Proteas are vulnerable against spin cannot be supported by recent evidence. They've scored lots of runs in India and absolutely hammered Swann in England last year. But that is in the past and they will have to prove themselves once more. Ajmal is a wonderful bowler and I'm sure the rest of the team will be relishing their opportunity to have a crack at the top dogs.

  • on January 20, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    Well it is going to be a cracker, but let me say that these pakistani bowlers can surprise saf by condemning them to series defeat at home. I really like pakistani bowlers.I hope india can have a good pace attack as well with good prospects coming through. Anyways best of luck to pak from an indian fan.

  • muneeb.Pakistani on January 20, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    hmmm well south Africa are extremely effecient side..........it will be 1 heck of a job to beat them in there backyard..........i dnt think we can burden this Pakistani team with alot of expectations.......yes beating india in india was great bt southafrica is just in another league........what i will want is team to fight..........and show character.........results don't matter........ batsmen have to take responsibility...........misbah has to show guts........well hoping for the best bt prepared for the worst.............and yes we are nt indians hence dnt make huge boost before going into a series........we let the game do the talking

  • Rolling_in_The_Deep on January 20, 2013, 17:54 GMT

    The most dangerous South African will not even be in the field but he is the one who makes all the difference. Its Gary Kirsten and his well thought out plans.. As a player he came hard on Pakistani team and now all set to do it as a coach..

  • on January 20, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    Well as an indian fan i accept that pak are the best side in asia at the moment, much better than india and they can give sa a run for their money but i will back the proteas to beat them. Anyways good luck to pak. Shud be a cracking series :)

  • azurecharms on January 20, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    SA is a damn strong side in tests! Pak bowlers will create lots of problems for them. Junaid will be a surprise deal and he can wrap any batting line line up single handedly I don't have much faith in Pak batting. Jamshed is promising, but I don't see his place in the eleven.

  • sameer111111 on January 20, 2013, 17:38 GMT

    SA would win 2-1. Both wins will be by huge margin. One loss would be a low scoring affair with SA choking at the end.

  • on January 20, 2013, 17:29 GMT

    Pakistan will have no chance. With such an old team, if they can't beat South Africa then its clear where they are heading.

  • TalhaRaza94 on January 20, 2013, 17:17 GMT

    Should be an exciting series with some top bowling from Pakistan and top batting from South Africa ready to kick things off. Certainly more competitive than the recently concluded Pakistan-India series.

  • MyOpinion4u on January 20, 2013, 17:08 GMT

    I strongly believe SA victory (2-1) but for that SA has to fight hand to mouth.

  • Last_ride on January 20, 2013, 17:05 GMT

    Is this Pak vs Sa or Ind vs Pak. To all Pakistani Fans we take Pakistan very seriously.This is for sure going to be a tough series for us the saffers. It all depends on Pakistans Batting. Younis Khan is very Important and so is Misbah. But apart from them i dont see any batsman having the discipline to face Steyn and Philander and Morkel. Ok Maybe Azhar Ali. Their bowling despite being very strong their inexperience could hurt them. Junaid Khan looks the real deal to me. One area in which Pakistan is ahead is clearly the spinning Department. Heres hoping a tough competitive series.

  • Raziulnur on January 20, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    Pak will lose easily as its not a good test team. they don't have some mediocre batsmen like hafeez, jamshed, malik n younis. they ll depend on junaid n irfan who are inexperienced n ll look inferior in front of mighty Proteas. if they bat well then there is a chance to draw a test match but in terms of series no chance at all for pak.

  • ReverseSwingMaster on January 20, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    I'm afraid of only KALLIS, he always performs against PAK.

  • Andrew-R-Yorkshire on January 20, 2013, 16:56 GMT

    The strongest team in the world v the most unpredicatable and exciting.

    The romantic in me yearns for Pakistan, however the realist in me fears for their young batting line up.

    My prediction.

    Hot bowling from Pakistan and a handful of dashing performances to remember. However SA will be too strong. Steyn & Philander are lethal and Amla has become peerless as the worlds number one run machine.

  • mzm149 on January 20, 2013, 16:34 GMT

    @SK5983 - Just like 4-0 in Australia's favor in upcoming Ind-Aus series.

  • wrenx on January 20, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    Unlike there series against England, where all the 3-0 predictions in England's favour were made to eat humble pie, this time, Pakistan aren't facing a massively over rated side. South Africa are the real deal, and Pakistan will do well to draw the series like last time.

  • SurlyCynic on January 20, 2013, 16:29 GMT

    I'm an SA fan and I think this will be a difficult series. No SA fan is underestimating Pakistan, most comments on here saying that are from India not SA.

  • Crick_Expert on January 20, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    We are waiting to see good cricket b/w two world top team, doesn't matter what the result will be. Congrat to PCB on good selection for this tour. I am hungry to see Nasir Jamshed, Haris Sohail, Junaid Khan, Irfan in actions. I am fan of NJ..Nasir J. playing great cricket similar to Legand Saeed Anwar. Let see how Amla and Jack faces to Ajmal. Pakistan people really loves cricket and gives great talent to world of cricket. Good Luck to both SA & PAK team..

  • Andrew-R-Yorkshire on January 20, 2013, 16:21 GMT

    I can't wait for this series. A mothwatering prospect. My teams would be:

    Smith, Peterson, Amla, Kallis, De Villiers, Du Plessis, Peterson, Philander, Kleinveldt, Steyn & Morkel (No place for Elgar despite his ton. 7 batsmen in a team containing Smith, Amla, Kallis & AB is a luxury. 4 quicks will give no respite for Pakistan).

    Hafeez, Jamshed, Ali, Y Khan, Misbah, Shafiq, Ahmed, Gul, Ajmal, J Khan & Irfan (Jamshed gets the nod ahead of Taufiq).

    This could be the series that catapults Junaid to superstardum!

  • El_Toro_Loco on January 20, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    @ sk9583: I suppose u r talking about ur team india's recent record here, which is usually the case as they were clean swept in the last two overseas trips & many more to come. Ciao...

  • Syed_imran_abbas on January 20, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    Indian fans are so disrespectfull and pathetic. You guys dont worry about Pakistani Team.. they are doing fine.. you better sort your home out.. I know conditions will be tough for Pakistan but iam hoping a good fight and some quality cricket from both side. And Pakistan Test side is not that unpredictable anymore as they havnt lost any series from last two years apart from one in SL from UPMIRES.

  • azeesajid on January 20, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    @SK5983-Its not an indian team who lost by 3-0,its pak shaheens who can beat the no.1 test side by 3-0 which they have proved last year & InshAllah they will do it this year also.

  • MyOpinion4u on January 20, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    If Pakistan could manage to reach to 250 in each innings, SA has to really fight hard to win.

  • AK47_pk on January 20, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    This is going to be series of the year. Pak batsmen will have to play philander across the line as he hasnt got much pace but accuracy nd swing so you you can play him accros the line in viv, s style. Our bowlers will defo keep them below 200 so if batsmen just couple of batsmen click then we can win.

  • zalmaypk on January 20, 2013, 15:53 GMT

    @spirtiwithin.. u r telling 6-1 in eng it is wrong because it is 5-2 one test which was abanded by the stupid Hair was on the pak way..and if u compare here in pak your team(eng) was 5-0 here in Pak..we win in Sl so many time u can google it. and in west indies we challenge them so many time when they were on the peak,,and when they crushed your team 5-0 so many times on those days...in 80s

  • QingdaoXI on January 20, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    3-0 in South Africa's Favour, Series is over before it starts.

  • Pak_alldway on January 20, 2013, 15:50 GMT

    indians forgot about the humiliation which they faced in eng n aus with their all so called gods

  • RaadQ on January 20, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    I expect the Saffers to defeat us 3-0 as they are the trifecta unit (best batting, bowling and fielding). However, if our middle order shows resilience (similar to Hussey & Clarke) and we take our catches, you can expect some really close matches. We have one trick up our sleeves that the Saffers don't, the world's best spin attack to back our potent pacemen, only time will tell how effective they will be in not so friendly pitches. Players to look out for: Junaid Khan, Azhar Ali, Hafeez. I hope Pak do not play two specialist spinners, as Ajmal and Hafeez are more than enough of South African pitches. My XI (in order): N Jamshed, A Ali, M Hafeez, Y Khan, M U Haq, A Shafiq, S Ahmed, U Gul, S Ajmal, E Adil, J Khan

  • Porky_PigTheToon on January 20, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    Just Love Pakistani bowlers.

    Junaid is a special talent. He might be another Mohd. Amir in making as Pak have had history of producing Exceptions. But the question is by the time series gets over. Who will emerge as Asif ?

  • Porky_PigTheToon on January 20, 2013, 15:37 GMT

    @ mazii

    But I second you, my friend.

  • spiritwithin on January 20, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    @THE_MIZ..first of all i dont think u r from SA,so dont pretend..and coming to pak playing all their matches away from home hmmm lemme remind u that playing in UAE where pitches r prepared according to PCB directives,where the soil r used from pak,and where most of the spectators r from pak so playing in UAE is nothing less than playing at home,infact when they plays odi's one of the umpires r also from pak and that happens only if that ground is 'home' ground,now u r talking about india's 8-0 away from home then again lemme remind u 12-0 in aus since 1999,6-1 in eng in their last two tour,so pak is not flying high in their away tour either,also dont forget they even failed to win a test series in WI and then losing the recent test series in SL apart from losing test series in india as well...try to see the fact before commenting...

  • mazii on January 20, 2013, 15:23 GMT

    countersrike... I think SA don't seconded your opinion as they are bringing their best bowlers against Pakistan. Indian team will soon fall into an abyss. In my view you better take interest in other games as Indian team is no where near beating any good side in test matches home and away and this must have to be it for you watching cricket. Nation of 1.2 billion people investing in just cricket and still thrashed 8-0 away and 2-1 home. Don't worry we'll do better than 8-0 thrashing. At least we'll show some fight.

  • MyOpinion4u on January 20, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    @ Cric_Roch, for your 8-0 comment, I would refer you to read ''The _MIZ'' for your 2-1 win of Pak, i would refer you to read my previous comment again. I did not mention that Pak win the series 2-1, i just said that how ridiculous the performance of great Indian batting line-up was. Even Pak's amateur (as said by Front_foot_lunge) bowling attack made those ''mighty hitters'' look like dabbler. Coming to the real topic I would go hard won 2-1 for SA. All the best for both teams. Play competitive cricket. Destroy batting of each other.

  • getsetgopk on January 20, 2013, 15:11 GMT

    LillianThomson: Spot on there. How SA batsmen play Junaid, Irfan and Ajmal is how this series will be decided. And agree that its going to be a low scoring series. On average a 200 to 250 score is one can realistically hope pak batting will get against SA's pace attack so it all comes down to how Junaid and co defend it. In the top 4 teams, SA have beaten Eng and Auss and lets see what Pak brings to the table. With Pak being the kings on slow pitches (best spin attack) and SA rule on bouncy pitches, so arguably the two best teams atm and Eng and Auss seems to be in between. Something tells me it will be a cracker!

  • on January 20, 2013, 15:03 GMT

    @ Frontfootlunge !! Still better than ur amateur broad who was smashed for 6 sixes in an over !!

  • zalmaypk on January 20, 2013, 15:02 GMT

    philander is a dangerous and swing bowler like shan pollack and ntini, so our batsman need must care of him,,otherwise our weak batting line will face trouble. like they faced trouble in the past against the pollack and ntin too.. although and we have a great bowling line so i hope that we will challenge them better than Aussies.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on January 20, 2013, 15:01 GMT

    Hahaha, this is hilarious. Pakistani and Indian fans getting stuck into each other on a SA vs Pakistan article..!!!

  • TommytuckerSaffa on January 20, 2013, 15:01 GMT

    Big Vern is back, bad news for Pakistan, good news for SA. Hope Vernon gets to the 100 wickets fastest ever.

    Like most other SA fans, I rate Pakistan as being a very tough challenge. Eventhough England and SA are clearly head and shoulders above the rest in Test cricket (the greatest form of the game), I still rate Paksitan as 3rd in the world, with Australia in 6th place bring up the rear...

  • ekirmani on January 20, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    @cric Roach, LOOOL oh how jealousy rears its ugly head. are you gonna bring up the WC match for the rest of your life to defend India's poor form? Like THE_MIZ said EVERY match pak plays is an away match. We have only lost ONE test series 1-0 against Sri Lanka since sept 2010, and we have won and drawn everything else, may I remind you how we beat england 3-0 AWAY from home, the then ranked number 1 test side who were unbeaten in 3 years while you couldnt even beat them AT HOME, let alone in england?

    And in case you forgot pak won the t-20 right after the one India did, and since that first T-20 India has NEVER GOTTEN past the group stage IN ANY ICC tournament (except 2011 wc) whilst pak has made atleast EVERY semi-final or further in every ICC tournament?

    Give credit where its due. Pak is a much better test side right now. And India have just become No.1 in ODIs so congratz on that, now focus on your upcoming series like we are

  • CricSoul on January 20, 2013, 14:59 GMT

    1) South Africa batsmen will be tested against Pak Bowling, some how SA will manage a good score. Pak bowling is as good as SA but not their temperament 2)Pakistan Batsmen will wobble against SA Bowling 3)It will be an interesting test cricket series but the result is 3-0 SA will win for sure, because PAk batsmen will struggle to find their touch in alien conditions

  • on January 20, 2013, 14:51 GMT

    sa has to prove something whereas pak has nothing to prove except their unpredictability. is misbah a lucky captain??? usmanali

  • PakCric786 on January 20, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    Am not surprised to see Indians bad mouth Pak its in their nature they are very few Indians who r not biased towards other teams but most of them are proper clowns. seriously guys you Indians really need to worry about your own team after WC India haven't achieved anything but humiliation home and away. i see Indian team going back to dark ages and i don't really see any light for them.. lets say for next 10 years or maybe even more lol

  • Porky_PigTheToon on January 20, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    @ ǾLucky Boyǿ

    Well agreed with you about Ind pathetic bowling. Except a few decent performances here and there (including the one when Ind beat SA in SA last time they toured), Ind bowlers in general are simple ineffective. Latest Test series against England is a fine example where even our Spinners couldn't do anything.

    About SA - Pak Test series, I'm sure Pak batsmen won't let me down and will give away their wickets even without showing fight. Yeah, Pak bowling might be a threat but for that Pak school-level fielders will have to take catches and SA batsmen will have to get out twice which obviously is difficult.

  • THE_MIZ on January 20, 2013, 14:37 GMT

    @cric_roch, I'm not even a Pakistani but that is completely ridiculous! Pakistan's great achievement you ask? Well, they've also won ODI World Cup, T20 world Cup. When last did they play 8 away test matches, you ask?? Every test they play is away from home and they've never been embarassed...SA fan.

  • Porky_PigTheToon on January 20, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    @ C.A-SA1987

    Well of course I'm an INDIAN fan. Don't know if you would believe it or not but after India, I support SA and NZ. So basically it is like that 1) Ind 2) SA / NZ 3) Any team playing Pakistan.

    I will make sure, I return the favour to those Pak fans, who continuously remains active in Ind-related forums.

  • El_Toro_Loco on January 20, 2013, 14:32 GMT

    @ cric_roch: FYI Pak has been playing all their games away from their home soil for the past few years & their record is not as glorifying as your team india's 0-8 record overseas. Ciao

    @ MyOpinion4u: Good One...

  • Porky_PigTheToon on January 20, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    @ Solid_Snake and mzm149

    Completely agree with you both. India are an ordinary side. Agreed Agreed ! I have left taking interest in Indian Cricket. So from now on my focus will only be on my favorite team Pakistan.

  • EjazMahmood on January 20, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    @cric_roch Pakistan's greatest achievement: hmmmmmmmm Beating India in India. Lol

  • cricktexpert on January 20, 2013, 14:21 GMT

    this series will be close only if pak bats well......their bowlers are good but raw in test format....lets see if they have the stamina to last a full day or two in the field...if they do they can surely win.....

  • on January 20, 2013, 14:17 GMT

    Pak will win the 1st test very easily... But in the next two tests it would b a great competition b/w the two dangerous bowling attacks...If Rahman and Jamshed both take the opportunity to play the 1st test then i m sure Pak will b winning...

  • cric_roch on January 20, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    Those talking about 8-0 defeats , how many times pakistan played 8 away test matches against quality opposition. In last 5 years , Indian team has won world cup in t20 and ODI , and no-1 in test for 2 years. What is great Pak teams achievement ?

  • cric_roch on January 20, 2013, 14:04 GMT

    @MyOpinion4u Winning a series 2-1 might so big for your side , since not able to beat india ever in an important match (WC).

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on January 20, 2013, 14:04 GMT

    Pakistann's Seam attack is amateur to say the least. They have so little these days that some fans can take a youngster like Junaid, and make him out to be better than the long-established best players in the world. Funny stuff. Sorry to burst the bubble on your fantasy world guys, keep trying.

  • gsingh7 on January 20, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    3-0 sa win is wat i hope as they r top team , also want amla to cross lara record in first test , sa supporter from india

  • on January 20, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    I am a big fan of protes bowling attack... It would probably destroy Pak batting line.... But looking to Paki bowlng i m afraid who would be going to click against Ajmal and (Junaid specially with the new bal)... Would that b Du plesis,Amla or Kallis??? I mentioned Du plesis 1st bcoz he gonna b dangerous...

  • waseem raja on January 20, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    pakistan stand a vry good chance of winning the series.i think most comments here r either biased or exaggeratd .As compared to SA bowling,which is one dimensional,pak bowling is more balanced:ajmal,number 1 spinner n still mysterious;intelligent, young,swing bowler junaid;tallest bowler,irfan-i think ll b more lethal on bouncy tracks;n hard working gul.........if pak show a little bit maturity n resiliance vd the bat,this ll b a tough n exciting series to watch.. Vd advantage SA,i think pak also stands a chance!!

  • Nigah on January 20, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    Check the history every time in Australia (Hair), in West Indies (S.Buckner) & in SA poor impairing snatch the series win from Pakistan. Thanks to DRS which help enough to Pakistan. I believe this team & this captain will able to take the first ever test series win against SA. (Insha Allah)

  • MyOpinion4u on January 20, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    I am surprised to see so many Indian fans finding this Pak Vs SA series so interesting. They have started to invest their time commenting here even before the tests have started. I can fell their pain that they got because Pak humiliate their 'great' batting line-up at their home. But it has passed, forget it and save your energies for the next Pak-Ind series. Let Pakis and SAns share their thoughts here. By the way You Indians have posts to comment. Go to Eng Vs Ind articles. That would be a better use of your time and energy.

  • drnaveed on January 20, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    well , well ,well , my SA friends think that their side is some thing out of this worlld. some suggesting that rest should be given to SA bowlers Philander , steyn and morkel, as these Pakistani side is not upto the top level.see, what happened to the Australian side, their board and crowd reacted the same way, like you people, giving rest to their main players against a SL SIDE,FORGETTING that the SL side has played the last 2 fifty overs and the last 20 overs world cup finals,Aus side was thrased easily by SL, in the next match , when they brought back their seniors , the result was even worse. so , my friends let our side play, you will see a better performance from our players , this time for sure.............

  • El_Toro_Loco on January 20, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    @ cricindia208: hmmm didn't this "over-rated" bowling attack sent ur top 5 batters home for less than 30 runs recently? Only poor dhobi saved the face & made the defeat respectable. Ciao...

  • I.Aziz on January 20, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    Pakistan ! only 1 series lost in last 2.5 years home or away and 3-1 loss to England could very easy have been 2-2. Whatever said Pakistan is ready there is lot of fire in Pakistan boys and that will be shown to and seen by all. Go greens go.

  • drnaveed on January 20, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    with the inclusion of sarfaraz ahmed as a keeper, we now have a long tail, starting right from number 7.Furthermore, 2 fast bowlers and 2 spinners combination, i am afraid will no work in this part of the world.they have to play with atleast 3 if not 4 fast bowlers .So, there will be additional pressure on out top 6 batsmen. we have a good bowling line up ,our fielding has improved in the recent past, so if they hold their catches,save runs, and our batsmen score atleast 350 runs ,there are chances that we will give another surprise to the number 1 side in the world ,at present ....... who knows ?????????????

  • EjazMahmood on January 20, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    This series will decide which is the best bowling side in the world and which is the second best.

  • Teesra_googli on January 20, 2013, 13:27 GMT

    Rise-of-Sinhaya on (January 20 2013, 10:58 AM GMT)

    mate this is Pak team not india and if Philnder is back then what?? we are not afraid of any bowler we are not like indian Fans we want to see him bowling and it will be a classy contest btween Bat and Ball Good Luck to Both Teams and you Enjoy Watching FlatTrack Tiggers thrashing England B bowling side without anderson broad swaan etc .....

  • drnaveed on January 20, 2013, 13:25 GMT

    with the inclusion of sarfaraz ahmed as a keeper, we now have a long tail, starting right from number 7.Furthermore, 2 fast bowlers and 2 spinners combination, i am afraid will no work in this part of the world.they have to play with atleast 3 if not 4 fast bowlers .So, there will be additional pressure on out top 6 batsmen. we have a good bowling line up ,our fielding has improved in the recent past, so if they hold their catches,save runs, and our batsmen score atleast 350 runs ,there are chances that we will give another surprise to the number 1 side in the world ,at present ....... who knows ?????????????

  • Solid_Snake on January 20, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    @counterstrike1.6 ->There you go..Started already.Sigh!!! Talk about Shami Ahmed & Kumaar.It was one match Lol cant you just stop stating it again & again.Just tell me.Was that even a flat track & was that a typical Sub con Condition in that series?If yes than i must say Indian batting Sucks big time.They cannot even face a Rookie Junaid.Yes our batting isnt that good.Our batting is not like Indian great batsmen.We still have a long way ahead before we achieve a magnificent record of 8 humiliating defeats in a Row just like India :P

  • highly_unpluged on January 20, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    ohh Pakistan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! very very unpredictable team of all times, how one can underestimate them.

  • im52923 on January 20, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    Dont be so negative (all of you) If SA make batting conditions, there bowlers wont be that effective. And if Pakistan bowl forth on any batting friendly wicket, Pakistani spinners can make a difference. If SA make bowling friendly pitches, If Pak win toss and bowl, One good spell of bowling from two fast bowlers can do it for Pakistan. They ll certainly not making spinning tracks for sure. SA are fav.... no second opinion but never underestimate Pakistan on any track. And Misbah is a very good Captain, take my word on that.

  • EjazMahmood on January 20, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    I think it is going to be a very good series. I think SA are favourites to win but if any team can give them a real test, its team Pakistan. It depends on how Pakistan players (both bowlers and batsmen) adjust on SA pitches. Not many Pak players have played in SA previously. Pakistan seems to be a much more professional team in the recent past and their fielding has improved a lot as well under new fielding coach. I think they will surprise SA especially with their bowling. Waiting for an interesting series. Can't wait.

  • golgo_85 on January 20, 2013, 12:56 GMT

    This is a very different Pakistan touring side from the ones from the last 15 years when the batting line up used to be as brittle as their phenomenal bowling line up. In the likes of Jamshed, Azhar, Younis, Misbah, Pakistan have enough crafty strokeplayers and grafters to make life not so easy for Philander and Steyn. If anything, Pakistani batsmen might crumble to someone totally different in a typical fashion. I have a feeling that Philander will be asked a few questions for the first time in his career whilst Ajmal proves once again why he is the best wizard in his time. I'm sure Steyn-Junaid would stake their own claims. I'm excited, aren't you?

  • Solid_Snake on January 20, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    3-0 no way...SA got an upper hand but Pakistan wont go down that easily.This is not Indian team who go down without a fight. Pakistan only needs to take catches..That should be the top priority..Our bowlers put up so much effort & all that goes down the drain after a drop catch.We just need to bat as we normally do.250-300 runs on the board & we are good to go..

  • LillianThomson on January 20, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    @ MK Luke The reason for that sense of glorious uncertainty is because both bowling attacks have enough power to blow the other side out of the water.

    Every few years we get a series where even the permutations at the toss are endlessly fascinating. This is that series for 2013.

    Assuming "normal" pitch and weather conditions, it seems obvious that Pakistan will seek to bowl first wherever possible to try to "set" a match as low-scoring by bowling out SA cheaply on Day 1.

    But what should SA do if they win the toss? On the one hand, if they bowl first they can hope to knock Pakistan over cheaply. But in doing so they risk having to chase against Ajmal in the 4th innings, which gives him the best conditions to bowl in.

    But the alternative is for South Africa to bat first. And that means that if Irfan and Junaid use conditions well and get a few wickets before lunch then SA will have the inexperienced Elgar and FAF exposed much earlier than usual and against much better bowlers.

  • on January 20, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    its good that south Africa is at its full strength...its going to be a tough series and i am sure Pakistan wont go down without a fight...unlike India we have a superb bowling side while we have a good test batting side with the likes of Asad,Azhar and co. ,those people who have nothing else to do and post degrading comments should go and post comments on something related to their team... England was no.1 and got drubbed 3-0 , i wont be a big mouth and say we ll do the same to south Africa but Pakistan will give south Africa a run for their money which i suppose most teams would fail to do by looking at the current form south Africa is...go green go ,do something special !!

  • heartbreakerz on January 20, 2013, 12:41 GMT

    hahaha, quite funny to see such comments from the people of those nations who have recently been whitewashed away n even lost at home

    m pretty sure that Pakistan will do well than them, best of luck to both teams

  • Farrukh.91. on January 20, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    looking up for a good contest; Pakistan, as they have been, will be relying on their bowling but SA are a pretty balanced side in all dept; to defaet them at their home is difficult, though not impossible.

  • davidatlas999 on January 20, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    @counterstrike1.6 take your money back dear cause i know Nasir will be 12th man in all three test matches.we had some player who can play test match as a test match.and we had some good bowler backing them.so dont worry dear we had insurance for our batting any way thank you.you had some thought for us bad are good dont know.

  • PkZindabaad on January 20, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    this series will show who are the best from sub continent teams. Junaid khan has find out indians and other 'flat track bullies' srilanka has find it tough in pathethic aus. so peferct opportunity for us. hope we will overhaul SA

  • oayaz01 on January 20, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    @CricIndia08 - Yes I agree with you that Pak bowling is over rated but atleast we have genuine fast bowlers in the country who can shake batsmanwith pace and bounce unlike India who can produce Praveen Kumar and now B. Kumar, whose surprise delivery is bowled at 135 and not the stock ball, and Poor Dhoni has to stand up to the stumps.

  • Anas.Fazal on January 20, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    Assalam (Hello evry1)... I am a Pakistani An advice to every South african, dont underestimate Pakistan team, this trip.... You never know.... Play hard and play gracefully..... thats what all we demand...

  • MWaqqar on January 20, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    This is going to be the series when the mettle of Pak batsmen and bowlers will be really tested, I see 3-0 or 2-0 in ZA favour.

  • mzm149 on January 20, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    @counterstrike1.6 - We are also waiting for India to get whitewashed by Australia. What England did recently in test series will be repeated by Aussies. Kumar and Shami Ahmed will get good thrashing from Clarke, Warner, Watson and Wade. What will happen to part timers like Jadeja, Yuvraj and Raina who were clueless even against so called club level Pakistani batsmen. I forgot to mention Australian pace bowlers, Starc, Johnson, McKay etc. How will Indian batsmen survive in front of them.

    These club level Pakistani batsmen recently won 2-1 against India. What does this tell about Indian bowling. That is also strange that Pakistani bowlers clicked every time to shatter the over-hyped Indian top order.

  • SUMI3220 on January 20, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    it will be a tight contest..... hope it will not be one sided like pak lst series vs ind.... pak bowling is young... n what i believe is that pak test teaM Is better than ODI.. batting looking better with asad,azhar,younus,hafeez,misbah,nasir,taufeeq.... n bowling is good with ajmal,junaid,gul,irfan n ehsan adil...

  • M.K.Luke on January 20, 2013, 12:18 GMT

    SA should not take Pak easy. Everyone know how unpredictable the team of Pak is! Even though they are not playing much of international cricket but the potential of this team can't be judged . Despite SA are favourites for this series.I have this gut feeling that some upset is gonna happen. Best of luck both teams....

  • din7 on January 20, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    @ counterstrike1.6 ur going overborad mate....im fan of SA and they deserve currently to be the best in the world and ur underestimatin pak SA has done a sensible thing of not havin a test match at durban otherwise pak would have surely won 1 test (if sri can pak is better) but still pak has quallty fast bowlers...junaid is awesome backed by gul and irfan and then ajmal its not so easy to play him as seem even indians struggled wth him...provided pak doesn't drop catches...SA batsman will be aganst quality bowlin..SA will win the series nodoubt...but pak can win atleast1 test..thats really possible

  • THE_MIZ on January 20, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    @malepas, the 'excited' SA fans as you call them are mostly Indians & others desperate to see Pakistan lose, especially since they couldn't beat Pak at home. Now to regain a bit of... I dunno? pride?. They are disrespecting Pak and hoping for a 3-0 whitewash for SA. There are very few, if any, SA fans who think like that (myself included). SA may very well win, but its highly unlikely that it'll be easy...

  • shahzadparacha on January 20, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    Pakistan have previously won 2 test matches in South Africa. 1998 (Durban) and 2007 (Port Elizabeth).

    The bowling resources are good, the only worry is batting. If Pakistan can somehow manage to score 300 runs plus in the first Innings of each these three tests then they can beat South Africa. Their best chance of winning the Test Match will be at Centurian.

    It is no surprise that they haven't be given test venues like Durban and Port Elizabeth as SouthAfrica didn't wanted to give Pakistan any sniff of victory.

  • LillianThomson on January 20, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    It's disappointing that so many of these comments seem to have petty agendas. India's turn to tour South Africa is coming up at the end of this year, and they can show what they can or cannot do then.

    Two of the three series Pakistan have played in South Africa have been low-scoring and very close (1-1 in 97-98, 2-1 to SA in 06-07). I agree with everyone else about the frailty of Pakistan's batting but the key to this series is going to be how well South Africa's batsmen play against the left-armers Junaid and Irfan. They didn't look totally convincing against Boult in the NZ Tests and then looked all-at-sea against McClenaghan and also struggled against Williamson's modest off-spin yesterday. Pakistan will be hoping for another low-scoring series in which 200 is a winning innings, like last time.

    We know that Pakistan will be badly under-done for the 1st Test. But South Africa's batsmen will also have played only 2 First Class innings in the last 6 weeks as well as some gentle ODIs.

  • johnal on January 20, 2013, 12:07 GMT

    great team i will say unbeatable now my fav cricketer hashim amla

  • KingUzzy on January 20, 2013, 12:07 GMT

    Ah this place is definitely overrun by fans of a mediocre cricket team !! after they couldn't digest the thrashing in their home. It will be a tough series for Pak as they have to take on the current number one team. But so was with England and look what they got a 3-0 drubbing !! So SA here we come !!

  • faizan_feroz on January 20, 2013, 12:05 GMT

    lols its funny to see auch anti pakistan followers following what shudnt be their business and when we go to reply them they cry that its not ur post and whatever etc , cuming to the cricket i thnk that a full strength sa side is necessary to test pakistan so the management can find loopholes and strengthen us further , but a some ppl mentioned the last thng this series will be is gonna be one sided , time will tell !

  • Gareth_Bain on January 20, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    Twaddle, Counterstrike... This will be a tight series. Pakistan have started including old-school test grafters like Azhar Ali and Misbah, it'll be the toughest test yet for our pacemen!

  • on January 20, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    Well...It will be a tough time for Pakistan in Test Series, their only hope will be their bowling attack...

    @counterstrike1.6: Only Kallis have a good record against Pakistan, none of their other batsmen including Run Machine (Hashim Amla) have good record against Pakistan...

    and plz guys don't compare India with Pakistan, Test matches can be won by only those teams who have strong bowling attack, and look at India's bowling attack (ROFL), they even dn't deserve to play Test Cricket

  • CricIndia208 on January 20, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    pakistani bowling is hugely overrated. Their batting is a big joke. I expect South Africa (which is not a great side, merely a good one) to thrash paksitan 3-0!

  • sirvivfan on January 20, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    Rise of shinhaya, can I remind you Vernon did not play in that game. Admittedly Pak batting is weak but not weak as your bowling. At least we can say we have world class bowling attack....can you say that about your batting and bowling...no you cannot. Batting must be judged away from home conditions!

  • malepas on January 20, 2013, 11:55 GMT

    I can see lots of our SA fans r excited about thier chances and destroying Pak 3-0 etc,, given this will be a tough tour for PAK but friends don't underestimate this PAK test team,,they r the most successful team with SA in last year and half,,they have bowlers who can run through any batting line ups any where and they have some very experience and young but very talented batters,,I expect this to be a very enthrauling series,,there will be matches which may finish 3rd or 4th day,but don't put your houses on the winning side. There is a lot of respect for this SA side but remember the England 3-0 whitewash. I think SA should win cos of home advantage but it will be a good specticle,,moreover,,I wouldn't say that SA will win if they play PAK in UAE now. GOOD LUCK TO BOTH TEAMS.

  • C.A-SA1987 on January 20, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    @Posted by counterstrike1.6 on (January 20 2013, 11:22 AM GMT)

    If you don't support either Pakistan or South Africa, please refrain from making derogatory comments.

    You're clearly an Indian supporter, so go make negative comments about the English over there on your thread.

    As South Africans, we respect any and all opponents equally.

    Showing disrespect to the opposition is akin to disrespecting the game.

  • KaptaanCricket on January 20, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    LillianThomson:- How can you say " SA SHOULD WIN COMFORTABLy? " Pakistan is a far far far better team compared to those home bullies ENG and IND(But now they are losing at home too!) And let me tell you this is the Pakistan team which has that fighting spirit unlike the teams from 2005-2010. So better be ready for a tough series. Even AUS gave SA a tough time.

  • Porky_PigTheToon on January 20, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    I put my money on Nasir Jamshed. He will be the only guy from Pakistan batting line-up to cross 50 mark, if he gets dropped twice !

  • Porky_PigTheToon on January 20, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    I'm really disappointed. Philander should have been rested. Even all regular bowlers of SA - Steyn, Morkel and Philander should have been given rest. For club-level Pak batsmen who have got no batting technique to survive in Test Cricket on Green Tops, even SA domestic bowlers are enough. CSA should look at this series as a golden opportunity to test their domestic fast bowlers. I can't recall the name but there was one fast bowler in SA U-19 WC team who was really dangerous. He can be tried out.

    Even against Ind medium-pacers B. Kumar and Shami, Pak batsmen except Jamshed were clueless. Then how do you expect Pak sloggers to cross even 50 per batsman ?

    Pakistan getting white-washed is on the cards. Only hope for Pakistan is that - their bowlers click and SA batsmen fail twice in a match. And the latter is unlikely to happen considering the form of likes of Amla, Petersen, Kallis and co..

    Looking forward to the series.

  • LillianThomson on January 20, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    This should be a fascinating end to the southern summer. We couldn't ask for a better pair of bookends than the Australia v South Africa series to kick off the summer and the South Africa v Pakistan one to end it. Two series between the top team and a challenger from within the Top 4.

    It's good to see South Africa at full-strength, with the only absentees being Duminy and de Lange who are fringe players. It's a shame that Pakistan's best two bowlers won't be there, but they brought it upon themselves. Mind you, Asif's Court of Arbitration for Sport appeal ends two days after the First Test, and if his ban is overturned - and the specific evidence against him was flimsy compared with his co-accused - he could even play in the last two Tests.

    SA should win comfortably. But part of the beauty of cricket is wondering when Kallis will finally be past-it, whether keeping wicket will spoil ABDV's batting, whether Junaid is the real deal, etc etc. I can't wait!

  • Farhan020328 on January 20, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    Philander is an outstanding bowler. It'll be tough for Pakistan. But something is giving me a feeling that it will be thrilling series. Expect an Iron Man Vs Thor contest ;)

  • oayaz01 on January 20, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    That's a bad news for Pakistan, Philander will destroy Pakistan batting line up at Wanderers. SAF need a rotation policy, maybe Micky Arthur can help Kirsten with that, that will be the only respite for Pak batsman.

  • Return-of-Sinhaya on January 20, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    Philander is back, now surely pakistan will lose 3-0, no test would last 5 days, even our team managed to win only one test last time despite losing the series, so what chance does pakistan have?

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  • Return-of-Sinhaya on January 20, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    Philander is back, now surely pakistan will lose 3-0, no test would last 5 days, even our team managed to win only one test last time despite losing the series, so what chance does pakistan have?

  • oayaz01 on January 20, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    That's a bad news for Pakistan, Philander will destroy Pakistan batting line up at Wanderers. SAF need a rotation policy, maybe Micky Arthur can help Kirsten with that, that will be the only respite for Pak batsman.

  • Farhan020328 on January 20, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    Philander is an outstanding bowler. It'll be tough for Pakistan. But something is giving me a feeling that it will be thrilling series. Expect an Iron Man Vs Thor contest ;)

  • LillianThomson on January 20, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    This should be a fascinating end to the southern summer. We couldn't ask for a better pair of bookends than the Australia v South Africa series to kick off the summer and the South Africa v Pakistan one to end it. Two series between the top team and a challenger from within the Top 4.

    It's good to see South Africa at full-strength, with the only absentees being Duminy and de Lange who are fringe players. It's a shame that Pakistan's best two bowlers won't be there, but they brought it upon themselves. Mind you, Asif's Court of Arbitration for Sport appeal ends two days after the First Test, and if his ban is overturned - and the specific evidence against him was flimsy compared with his co-accused - he could even play in the last two Tests.

    SA should win comfortably. But part of the beauty of cricket is wondering when Kallis will finally be past-it, whether keeping wicket will spoil ABDV's batting, whether Junaid is the real deal, etc etc. I can't wait!

  • Porky_PigTheToon on January 20, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    I'm really disappointed. Philander should have been rested. Even all regular bowlers of SA - Steyn, Morkel and Philander should have been given rest. For club-level Pak batsmen who have got no batting technique to survive in Test Cricket on Green Tops, even SA domestic bowlers are enough. CSA should look at this series as a golden opportunity to test their domestic fast bowlers. I can't recall the name but there was one fast bowler in SA U-19 WC team who was really dangerous. He can be tried out.

    Even against Ind medium-pacers B. Kumar and Shami, Pak batsmen except Jamshed were clueless. Then how do you expect Pak sloggers to cross even 50 per batsman ?

    Pakistan getting white-washed is on the cards. Only hope for Pakistan is that - their bowlers click and SA batsmen fail twice in a match. And the latter is unlikely to happen considering the form of likes of Amla, Petersen, Kallis and co..

    Looking forward to the series.

  • Porky_PigTheToon on January 20, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    I put my money on Nasir Jamshed. He will be the only guy from Pakistan batting line-up to cross 50 mark, if he gets dropped twice !

  • KaptaanCricket on January 20, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    LillianThomson:- How can you say " SA SHOULD WIN COMFORTABLy? " Pakistan is a far far far better team compared to those home bullies ENG and IND(But now they are losing at home too!) And let me tell you this is the Pakistan team which has that fighting spirit unlike the teams from 2005-2010. So better be ready for a tough series. Even AUS gave SA a tough time.

  • C.A-SA1987 on January 20, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    @Posted by counterstrike1.6 on (January 20 2013, 11:22 AM GMT)

    If you don't support either Pakistan or South Africa, please refrain from making derogatory comments.

    You're clearly an Indian supporter, so go make negative comments about the English over there on your thread.

    As South Africans, we respect any and all opponents equally.

    Showing disrespect to the opposition is akin to disrespecting the game.

  • malepas on January 20, 2013, 11:55 GMT

    I can see lots of our SA fans r excited about thier chances and destroying Pak 3-0 etc,, given this will be a tough tour for PAK but friends don't underestimate this PAK test team,,they r the most successful team with SA in last year and half,,they have bowlers who can run through any batting line ups any where and they have some very experience and young but very talented batters,,I expect this to be a very enthrauling series,,there will be matches which may finish 3rd or 4th day,but don't put your houses on the winning side. There is a lot of respect for this SA side but remember the England 3-0 whitewash. I think SA should win cos of home advantage but it will be a good specticle,,moreover,,I wouldn't say that SA will win if they play PAK in UAE now. GOOD LUCK TO BOTH TEAMS.

  • sirvivfan on January 20, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    Rise of shinhaya, can I remind you Vernon did not play in that game. Admittedly Pak batting is weak but not weak as your bowling. At least we can say we have world class bowling attack....can you say that about your batting and bowling...no you cannot. Batting must be judged away from home conditions!