South Africa v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Centurion

Centurion will test Pakistan's learning

Although defeat in the series, Pakistan put in a much-improved display at Newlands on a surface that was more favourable to their game. However, coming back to the Highveld will be a different story again

Firdose Moonda at SuperSport Park

February 20, 2013

Comments: 70 | Text size: A | A

Mohammad Irfan bowls on Test debut, South Africa v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Cape Town, 2nd day, February 15, 2013
Mohammad Irfan should find the Centurion pitch to his liking, but Pakistan's batsmen less so © AFP
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One thing was evident about Pakistan's mood when they left Cape Town for Johannesburg (and ultimately Centurion) on Tuesday: they were relaxed. Many of them, including Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul and Younis Khan, cradled babies, while the rest chatted and milled about like a tour group off on their next adventure.

Most of their squad are on their first trip to South Africa and seem to be enjoying it despite defeat in the Test series. They know they have nothing but further improvement to gain and the difference between their performance at the Wanderers and their showing at Newlands indicates the learning process is taking shape. Pakistan should be careful not get too comfortable with the upward curve, though, because SuperSport Park has been a snake pit for sub-continent sides and a fortress for South Africa.

None of India, Pakistan or Sri Lanka have ever won a match at the venue while it also challenges both the Wanderers and Newlands for status as the home of South African cricket. In results terms, the title belongs to SuperSport Park.

Since the ground came into existence after readmission, South Africa have lost on it only once to make it their most successful home venue. England are the only other team to have tasted victory in Centurion - theirs came in the 2000 Test in which both sides agreed to forfeit an innings and the result became famous for other reasons.

But the sub-continental record reads like a sorry saga. Sri Lanka have been defeated four times at and India and Pakistan once each. The last two teams beaten at the venue, India and Sri Lanka, were dealt innings defeats and South Africa have won five of the last eight Tests in Centurion by such a margin.

Reasons for their success at Centurion are simple. It is a typical South African surface that offers plenty for the quicks and turns batting into a challenge were only the toughest survive. "Those are the type of wickets we like to play on," Gary Kirsten, the South Africa coach, said. "We like pace and bounce and pitches that offer a lot to our bowlers because that has been a formula for success for us in the past. When we go to other countries, we play the type of cricket that they want to play. When we're at home we like to the play cricket we want to play."

The same can be expected this time with the pitch a familiar shade of green a day and half before game time. Hilbert Smit, the groundsman, has on previous occasions explained to ESPNcricinfo that the grass covering seen before a match can be misleading. Instead of indicating a raging green-top, it is often just colouring and does not play as violently as it threatens to.

But the threat has often been enough to unsettle visiting sides especially because SuperSport Park has often hosted the first Test of a series and they have yet to find their feet. Coupled with the mental effects of seeing a pitch that two days before the match is only briefly distinguishable from the outfield, teams have been skittled out.

In four of the last five Test at SuperSport Park, the first innings total was 250 or less and Kirsten expected the par score to hover around there again. "South Africa presents the toughest conditions to bat in," Kirsten said. "We have to give credit to our batsmen who on a regular basis perform on wickets that are doing a fair amount. When we look at a yardstick we say 400 is a good first innings score but in South Africa we have to realign our goals and maybe 300 is a very good competitive score."

Pakistan have had three weeks to shift their mindset and the demons that face many visiting teams at Centurion should not affect them in the same way. Their first Test nerves were settled three weeks ago at the Wanderers where they did not even have to front up first on a tricky pitch. Graeme Smith chose to bat first to get the series underway and South Africa had to survive bowler friendly conditions.

At Newlands they gave South Africa the "big battle" Kirsten said they expected and now they have the chance to take that one step further. Problems against the new-ball remain but one thing they can hope for at Centurion is that their bowlers, and Mohammed Irfan in particular, will be able to take as much advantage of the surface as South Africa's attack.

Something they should not expect, Kirsten warned, is that the No.1 team will relax, even though they have already won the series. "When Australia were at their peak and we occasionally beat them, it was a massive thing. Usually it was a dead rubber and they would always rub that in if we won with the series already decided, but we would always argue that we beat the best team in the world," he said.

"Now we are the best team in the world and we don't get to get beaten. We said that we don't want to lose any Tests this year. We want to be highly competitive and a very difficult team to beat. Every individual takes Test cricket very seriously and we want to give account ourselves because this is the last time we will play Test cricket until October or November." Words that will give Pakistan reason to snap out of any relaxation pretty quickly.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by dmqi on (February 22, 2013, 5:59 GMT)

@hassan Khan. Why Afridi is selected over Razzaque because PCB has time and again made wrong decisions. Have you forgot PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt? And the current selection chair is a weak person too. Many Pakistani think Afridi is a BOOM BOOM and they do not know math well, so Razzaque being much more suited in SA pitch can not get chance. You guys like BOOM BUST. You will have a sorry figure in 3rd test and in ODI. Misbah overall did a poor job in team selection too.

Posted by PAKCOP on (February 22, 2013, 3:46 GMT)

Bring Abdur Rehman, The Left arm spinner, come on ...

Posted by   on (February 22, 2013, 1:20 GMT)

With Junaid, Gul, and Irfan as the pace bowling attack and Ajmal as a Spin bowler, they should win this game at centurion. I would stress that they should drop Hafeez and have Imran Farhat as an opener. Give a chance to lower order batsman with a solid opening partnership. I predict Pakistan victory at Centurion.

Posted by Baobabbooi on (February 21, 2013, 21:45 GMT)

Desihungama, don't be so thin skinned. Kirsten is merely referring to home field advantage and preparing seamer friendly pitches that will play to his side's strengths. Why is this a surprising concept to you? His statement is a reference to his own team, rather than any sort of comment about the opposition, and even less so about Pakistan's inability to host in their own country. Yet you have chosen to make a mountain out of the latter. Your palpable oversensitivity is reflected in your obtuse interpretation of Kirsten's rather obvious and innocuous statement.

Posted by Desihungama on (February 21, 2013, 21:24 GMT)

@Jaco Van Der Walt - Sounds like not Geography but you need Topography lessons. Main cricketing grounds in Sub-continent do not allow for greentops unless you are playing in Himalayas. Heat evaporates any moisture and humidity chokes the wind out of it. Why else you think they would resort to inventing reverse swings and doosras?

Posted by Major85D on (February 21, 2013, 20:29 GMT)

I wonder, why dave whatmore is still coach of pakistan! he is useless for the team! since he became coach, the team is powerless!

Posted by   on (February 21, 2013, 18:57 GMT)

South Africa will win by an innings and kallis will score 150 and take 3 wickets and 2 catches in the match!

Posted by   on (February 21, 2013, 18:01 GMT)

I m disappointed. Pakistan should have won the match at Newlands. They were still ahead at 100-3 in second innings. But timid approach, no rotating strike and focus on staying at the crease without making runs was a very negative approach. I think Sarfaraz the batsman is a big disappointment. And I just dont know who the selectors are who selected Tanvir Ahmed!? When the wicket looked like subcontinent Rehman was a better choice. But then Pakistan think tank has been making wrong calls throughout the series. First defensive selection of Rahat Ali over aggressive Irfan and then Tanvir for no apparent reason in second Test match. Having a full time bowling coach and Umar Gul bowling short of length!!?? It seems Pakistan is afraid of losing. That means they win!

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (February 21, 2013, 15:19 GMT)

Had it not been Misbah's amature decisions to play Tanvir and not Rehman or not bowling Hafeez enough, we could have been facing a series decider here.

Posted by voyager on (February 21, 2013, 15:10 GMT)

Pakistan did not necessarily lost the second test b/c of batting but rather their inability to finish things off in SA first Innings. At ~150/6, around 100 runs lead was a reasonable expectation but pakistan could not close the deal. It was very difficult from that point onward, you cannot let team like SA come back in the match like that.

Posted by   on (February 21, 2013, 14:30 GMT)

Jeff Lawson said"Misbah is the best cricketing brain in Pakistani team" and he was absolutely right. Misbah has the best avg in ODIs in recent Pakistani line-up. Those who just watch cricket for sixes and fours should know that this is not street cricket. If they want to watch a street cricketer, there is a man whose name is afridi who just comes to play hardly 10 balls. After 16 years carrier, he just scored 7000 runs with average of 22. In last 2 years, his average is below 15 in ODIs. I don't know why selectors select him for ODIs against SA, Abdul Razzaq or Hammad Azam should be selected.

Posted by Sir.Ivor on (February 21, 2013, 12:54 GMT)

The side batting first will have to be very very good to score 200. Then it gets easy and more batting friendly. I am not sure if spin will make much of a difference at the Centurion. Pakistan played reasonably well at Capetown because of Saeed Ajmal. Irfan was as good as you can expect a 30 year old debutante to be. But other than that their batting was below average barring of course Younis and Shafiq's first innings hundreds. But the point is that Capetown gave a wicket that was a lot like sub continent ones where the Pakistanis made a fair impression. Ajmal will be dangerous only if the wicket allows him to be so.It is the batting that Pakistan should worry about. To face up to Steyn and Co. Australia drew two tests against this South African side at home in 2012. So South Africa is not all that strong. It is just that Pakistan is not upto what people expect them to be because they beat England 3-0 in the middle east.

Posted by Safalicious on (February 21, 2013, 12:04 GMT)

If Pakistan bat first, I predict an innings victory for SA. that said, i have been impressed by the fight from this Pakistani side

Posted by dogcatcher on (February 21, 2013, 11:17 GMT)

As a SA supporter not sure I understand all the negetive remarks about Misbah. He has stood up well against the SA attack and shown more defiance than some more seasoned veterans. He has represented the team well and turned them into a solid young team with a bright future, along with coaches etc. Lets be frank here, had Junaid been fit and another 40/50 runs been posted the outcome of the second test could have been a lot different. Positves need to be taken. Firstly Pakistan have not been in the country too long and have had little match pratice, secondly SA is the number 1 team in the world (if that matters to you) and are playing at home and finally Smith has won the toss twice which is a benefit in SA.

Pakistan haven't played at home for years, so well done to them and good luck for the final match. This is a team to be watched.

Posted by Tmalik on (February 21, 2013, 9:50 GMT)

it is great disappointment to see Misbah & Co. do not like to try young fast bowlers, they have been taking them around on every tour, if we see every series there is new young bowlers on every tour but never gets chance... this is shame... if we look at Aus in last 1 year they have probably produced 12 fast bowlers everyone better then previous one... unless players like Ehsan Adil, Anwar Ali, Tabish, Lal Kumar, Arun Lal and Wahab Riaz given opportunity PAk will keep relying on spinners because they never try new fast bowlers... very defensive captain and the coach... Selectors are just pleasing captains, I think Pakistan is the best country who wastes so much talent in country... where they need experience, they will never take it, Yousuf needed in SA but they chose Younis and Azhar instead while Misbah is rusty we all know...Pak just get off to series ilke this without any home work or serious consideration... one day team again is great disappointment!!!!!

Posted by mthi4life on (February 21, 2013, 9:37 GMT)

Pakistan blew their chance in Newlands, Centurion will be just like, if not worse that the Wanderers in the first session.If you can score 250 in the first innings you would have done well.If Smith wins the toss he will bowl first and it wont be surprising if Team batting first is 50/5. Good luck Pakistan you will need Plenty of it.Whoever wins will do it in less than five days.

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (February 21, 2013, 8:45 GMT)

Please play bit aggressive n u will find better results. especially my advise to hafeez and nasir jamshed is to play their natural games. i missed umar akmal in this series as we needed someone who can play bit aggressive and brave. this series has been decided on some aggressive sessions by SA. Azhar has to play bit positive. i wish they had given a chance to Haris sohail. i hope they play juniad, irfan n ehsan adil in next game. please please drop useless gul and tanvir.

Posted by   on (February 21, 2013, 8:42 GMT)

I can,t understand why Misbah is in ODI,s and he is captain of team.... players like him cant even play in a club side and he is captain of Pakistan

Posted by omar_choudhary on (February 21, 2013, 8:35 GMT)

Pakistan, have proven and shown glimpses that they are a serious power in test cricket currently. They have the potential to beat this South African side if everything can go as planned for them. Ajmal is just unplayable by any team right now, and Irfan is causing headaches for top batsmen already, Younis needs time to settle and after that he can almost be unstoppable, Junaid Khan is a rising star (but in no ways a LEGEND yet), Asad has a bright future ahead, Azhar Ali's case in test cricket is heading the right way yet he has to prove himself in ODIs still, Misbah is leading steadily (who cares if he is too defensive or whatever, at least whatever he is doing has been working for our team recently), Abdur Rehman, I feel has been not utilised properly bit like Abdul Razzaq, Injustice to Haris Sohail and Ehsan Adil, whom both have been warming the bench. Only disappointment is Rahat Ali, who has been so expensive but he is a future quick prospect and Tanvir Ahmed, well lets just say...

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (February 21, 2013, 8:15 GMT)

kami_alvi..now dnt put blame on kirsten for this humilating 2 defeats and another one.. peacefully accept the defeat knowing the truth that it was paper tigers agianst real tigers . now dnt bring more insult with your wording by blaiming others for own fault..

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (February 21, 2013, 8:09 GMT)

if steyn,philkepen was not bolwed in first 60 overs and if steyn bolwed at speed of 60 km /h and if s afrcan started with spin as bolwning attack, if pitch distace was decreased 2 feet when pak fast bowlers wer bowling, if amla ,kallis,devillers,smith wer injured withut facing ball .....hahaha.. bet cant win :) ..bcos who will bring attitude and confidence ??

Posted by getsetgopk on (February 21, 2013, 8:08 GMT)

I think the way Pakistan bounced back from the horrors of the first test to get a lead in the 2nd test and set themselves into a winning position is nothing short of an extraordinary turn around for a team that had to deal with so much troubles of late. The capitulation to old ball on the 4th morning could very well been because of the shear fact that they could actually beat SA in SA, creates a pressure of its own kind and pressure can do strange things to any team. It is a fact that our batters have problems against the moving ball and it can't be helped either because its been some two years since they played in similar conditions whereas for the rest of the time we play on slow dead wickets. But now that they have lost both tests, knowing that SA isn't that an invincible team I expect Pak to put up a much more resilient effort in the 3rd test.

Posted by hst84 on (February 21, 2013, 7:21 GMT)

A sorry state of affairs for the Pakistan team as a batting wicket at Newlands couldn't bring about a victory for them although a fight was on till the end. Pakistani team should expect to improve their performances on bowling friendly wickets as they are an international side representing themselves throughout the world. In Centurion, Pakistan cannot expect to wait for mistakes or South Africa's complacency to surface but to improve themselves and give their best in every way they can.

Posted by Seether1 on (February 21, 2013, 6:54 GMT)

@GlobalCricketLover: The SA team needs a break as they have been playing from the last northern hemisphere summer when they toured England. Then it was the world T20 in SL, then off to Australia then home tours against NZ and Pakistan.

Posted by Lahore-Badshah on (February 21, 2013, 6:40 GMT)

A real test of character, temperament and skills will again rise to Pakistan at Centurion. Should ply with Irfan, Gul and Adil/Junaid and Ajmal the only spinner at centurion. Hafeez should bowl more overs as second spinner if needed. In batting Hafeez and Nasir should start Aggressively by attacking the new ball there by disturbing the line and length of Dale and Veron. Good Luck Team Pakistan for third and final test............................................:)

Posted by MrGarreth on (February 21, 2013, 6:26 GMT)

I just don't understand some of the Pakistan supporters hanging on to "what if"s. Your team was given a pitch on which they could turn things around and they failed to do so. Even a weak Sri Lanka managed to take advantage when SA did the same for them and they didn't have an Ajmal. Should you not then acknowledge the effort by the Saffers to actually get through this one and win? If you're going to use the argument of SA not being able to play on turning wickets then why can't SA come from the angle of "why can't Pak play on bouncy pacey ones and win like we did on the turning one? No instead Pak get decimated on bouncy pacey wickets. Pak had their chance and couldn't seal the deal. No excuses. SA showed the character of being the best side on the world. Previously when they gave turners to Pak, Sri Lanka, England and India (Durban) they were beaten. Now they got through it. It shows how they have improved.

Posted by   on (February 21, 2013, 6:05 GMT)

Pakistan is the best opposition which South Africa faced last 3 years in their own grounds. Pakistan perform so well despite they have half of the team as debut players. i.e Nasir Jamshed, Sarfraz, Junaid Khan, Irfan, and Rahit .. other are also unexpectedness. So i don't mind that if Pakistan lose. they played well. so stop barking and try to praise. we check out talent. now u can change them. u gave fair amount. Even Pakistan legends, Wasim , Waqar, Imran, Inzman, Saeed, Maindad etc not even won the series when Africans were not No.1 in the world. then how can u think now that u should win. stop dream and parse the best effort

Posted by Hiba.R on (February 21, 2013, 5:55 GMT)

Neutral empires and neutral pitches, wow, what a thought ! my dear friend Centurion will be a test for the Gul and other Pak quicks and of course the seasoned or rather aging Younis, Misbah and the few other young. But despite all the talking, one thing is for sure, that there is no escape route for Pakistan.

Posted by   on (February 21, 2013, 5:49 GMT)

@Mohammad Ibrahim - Each hosting nation has the right to prepare pitches which suit their own team. Have you ever seen a sub-continent groundsman prepare a green top surface to suit pace and seam? I think not! They prepare low, turning pitches - to suit the host nation! To be a good team, you need to be able to play on any surface...

Posted by Dr_Abrar_A_khan on (February 21, 2013, 5:47 GMT)

Pakistan put some battle in 2nd test ,they could have won that match because they will not get a venue better than that to beat SA , From Now Things will get More and More Difficult for pakistan as Centurion pitch may be lethal enough for Brittle Pak batting ,i hope pak can put some fight and they only can if Misbah choose the Right Eleven and make some better strategies , What is role Of hafeez ..he is not getting enough overs and it seems that all burden of taking wickets is on Ajmal and Irfan Misbah has to Sit and Rethink if Pakistan has to Put some bettle in centurion other wise its gonna be 3-0 for sure

Posted by shovwar on (February 21, 2013, 4:49 GMT)

WhiteWash on the card. No matter its 49 all out, an innings defeat or a nearly 1 wkt defeat Pak cannot avoid Defeat.

Posted by   on (February 21, 2013, 2:05 GMT)

AB's Hundered against India was a treat to watch in 2010.

Posted by IAS2009 on (February 21, 2013, 0:44 GMT)

adjusting to spin is easy because wickets do not spin from first day of test match in subcontinent so, England SA, aus and NZ have more easier time to deal with pitch especially if they win toss and put up 400 plus runs, it is difficult to loose from there. Now in Eng. SA, Aus and NZ ball is doing a lot in first day of Test match if they win toss they put you in and it is difficult to deal with height and swing of ball. most subcontinent batsman have struggled in these conditions. Only Pakistan have won handfull of matches in these condition because of Waqar and Waseem, they have beaten good teams overseas came close to beat aussies and win test series in Hobart (poor biased aussies umpiring caused the game). If Subcontinent teams needs to win overseas they will need to make good bouncy wickets to develop their batsman and bowlers. Aussies won many game sin subcontinent because of Shane Warne, now it will be difficult without him.

Posted by Mitch1066 on (February 21, 2013, 0:04 GMT)

In sum ways I feel for Pakistan team as they carnt play international at home and take usual strength teams get in own condition to boost players figures . Also must be hard for families of players too. Anyway Pakistan least one stage looked like give South African a challenge unlike we failed do in England and Australian failed to do. Adjmal had saffers rocking .

Posted by likeintcricket on (February 20, 2013, 23:01 GMT)

Despite losing Test series I still believe Pakistan has the bowling to win against SA. They have better Test batsman than Either of SL and India but it is the allrounder they are missing. Remember this SA is in great form and when they lost against SL they were playing without Philander in Durban. At other venues they just thrashed them. SA are talking about playing at Centurian but if they get to play against AAmir, Asif, Junaid, Irfan and Ajmal than they probably enjoy it more. This series is in a mess because of bad selection and they need to play against Indians to get their morale back.

Posted by LillianThomson on (February 20, 2013, 22:51 GMT)

It's impossible to overstate how much impact the absence of Amir and Asif has had on this series. Umar Gul has been bowling absolute dross and the third seamers - Rahat, then Tanvir - have been utterly out of their depth.

Cape Town was an unusually slow and flat wicket. Centurion won't be, and I can't see Pakistan making South Africa bat twice there. It's only a few miles away from Johannesburg, where the surface was so grassy that Ajmal was rendered ineffective. I fear more of the same at Centurion.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2013, 22:46 GMT)

Pakistan have little chance here. S.A should win inside 4 days. maybe even 2 or 3 . Why are SA not playing tests again for so long? Nonesense pyjama cricket taking over. What a shame

Posted by   on (February 20, 2013, 21:10 GMT)

I observe one thing in Pak team in test series there were no all rounder, actually in test cricket they can increase the length of the tail. lke tanvir made a big diffrence in the last test

Posted by   on (February 20, 2013, 21:06 GMT)

Its hard to understand, if umpire and every thing are neutral why not pitch should be .

Posted by dontlikecricket on (February 20, 2013, 21:00 GMT)

Regardless what people believe, I think SA will actually do ok in Asia agaisnt SL and PAK. They have quality batsmen so getting them out will be difficult. They have good fast bowlers and if they keep line and length then they will pose difficulty especially to PAK batsmen. SL batters are actually really good, may be best in Asia at this particular time. Agaisnt PAK on UAE it will be a slow race. PAK however has a big advantage is Ajmal and Rehman, so it will spinners vs SA and SL has Mendis so it will be interesting to watch!!!

Posted by crashed on (February 20, 2013, 20:49 GMT)

@Mohsin Nisar only if they agree to play 50 overs and with fielding restrictions lol

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (February 20, 2013, 20:40 GMT)

This pak team is good, these test matches have been more challenging than the ones against Australia. Just ask the players.

Posted by dontlikecricket on (February 20, 2013, 20:38 GMT)

@maddy20 on (February 20, 2013, 16:53 GMT): PAK didnt beat WI, series was a draw!! They did however have wins against NZ, SL and ENG in test and against IND in one day @Joe Thompson on (February 20, 2013, 16:53 GMT): Test ranking has actually gone up since 2010 and yes 3-0 was predicted by most people including myself. PAK has never actually won a test series in AUS or SA despite having Wasim, Sayed, Waqar, Inzi etc etc. Not sure which team do you support though? If ENG then lost at home to SA and away to PAK. If IND then there is no point even in talking about it as everyone knows. If AUS then same situation, if WI or NZ then we know what are the results over last 2 -3 years or so!!!

Posted by Desihungama on (February 20, 2013, 19:49 GMT)

Gary Kirsten says "When we go to other countries, we play the type of cricket that they want to play. When we're at home we like to the play cricket we want to play." What to make of Team Pakistan then? He should know better we don't play cricket at home. Team is virtually living out of suitcases and in hotels. Takes a toll on players and their families. Most importantly, it takes away the advantage to score runs in home conditions and boast averages. After all, when it is said and done isn't it the averages of players you write about? And please, Dubai is not sub-continent.

Posted by reason-galore on (February 20, 2013, 19:36 GMT)

we should play 11 bowlers... we cannot bat either way on such wickets so we stand a better chance of tackling south africa with 11 bowlers

Posted by   on (February 20, 2013, 19:36 GMT)

Stop talking about sub-continent conditions, talk about the present not the future. Stop whining that your team isn't as good as you think it is.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2013, 19:26 GMT)

South Africa will crush Pakistan. A 3-0 whitewash on cards.

Posted by heartbreakerz on (February 20, 2013, 19:14 GMT)

maddy20....atleast we don't lose at home(adopted) like your great indian team n we are still the best Asian team in test cricket according to d icc rankings...

Posted by mzm149 on (February 20, 2013, 19:03 GMT)

Pakistan lineup in third test in batting order should be: Nasir, Azhar, Younus, Hafeez, Asad, Misbah, Sarfraz (we don't have alternative), Rahman, Junaid, Ajmal, Irfan.

Nasir is due a good knock. People expect a lot from him.

Azhar is a better player of pace bowling as compared to spin. If promoted to top, he will help in seeing off the new ball even if he doesn't score much.

Hafeez can't play new swinging ball. Moving him down the order will not only help the team but will also help him in regaining his confidence. One thing I couldn't get in first match was that Hafeez is a proper allrounder. Why did Misbah not trust him with ball on a spin friendly pitch.

Every other team's wicketkeeper is a proper batsman.Unfortunately we don't have that privilege so we will have to go with Sarfraz.

Tanvir was good with bat but was so poor with ball that we can't keep him.

I hope Pakistan will show some fight this time too and win the match hopefully.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2013, 19:00 GMT)

@kami_alvi im Sorry but what has Kirsten said that he should mind his tongue? that they want to win every match? well of course most teams do! that they prefer playing at home on pitches that suit them and have to play how other teams want to play when touring? again thats a given! nothing in this article that you wouldnt expect

Posted by SurlyCynic on (February 20, 2013, 18:43 GMT)

Pakistan performed poorly on a seamer's wicket at the Wanderers, then better on a slow dusty pitch in Cape Town. They're expected to struggle again if the Centurion pitch performs as normal.

This is all as expected, 'learning' doesn't have much to do with it really.

Posted by GlobalCricketLover on (February 20, 2013, 18:27 GMT)

it is a real shame that the top test team dont play any tests for the next 6 months. That's 50% of the year! It would be great for an overseas tour to keep us fans treated.

Posted by Beertjie on (February 20, 2013, 18:26 GMT)

The groundsmen in the UAE should start preparing the pitches to requisite specification "until October or November."

Posted by Smahuta on (February 20, 2013, 18:25 GMT)

kami_alvi You are wrong my friend because they just lost on Sub continent conditions at Newlands. They did put up a decent fight but still lost. The same will happen in ther UAE later on in the year, so dont get your hopes up IM afraid.

Posted by cric_freakNo2 on (February 20, 2013, 18:06 GMT)

ITs obvious that RSA wil remain unbeaten this year no matter where they tour(SL and UAE r no different mate).I doubt ny1 wil wrong it unless he is unrealistic.

Posted by uzairamir on (February 20, 2013, 17:59 GMT)

@Syed_imran_abbas i agree with you

Posted by kami_alvi on (February 20, 2013, 17:42 GMT)

And this Pakistan team I see can beat any team in sub continent condition! Be aware South Africa! :)

Posted by kami_alvi on (February 20, 2013, 17:40 GMT)

I think Kristen have to bear in mind that they have to visit Srilanka and Pakistan / UAE (Alternate) this year so it will not be easy to play in sub continent play grounds. And he has to control his tongue.

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (February 20, 2013, 17:11 GMT)

please give a chance to ehsan adil and drop useless and gul.. i wish haris sohail was given a chance in this series.

Posted by AamirAwan on (February 20, 2013, 17:10 GMT)

I Just want to see the Big Man (Irfan) pairing with Junaid Khan on new ball and then new comer Ehsan Adil to follow. 1 thing that Pakistani batsmen will have to learn is , as per Mohsin Nisar's idea, to play with one-day mentality. They could have scored much better in the 2nd innings of 2nd test if they had adopted this positive intent.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2013, 17:03 GMT)

3-0 hammering for pakistan!!!

Posted by   on (February 20, 2013, 16:57 GMT)

In the last match Pakistan has nothing to lose, its time to give some other players chance likes of Ehsan Adil and Faisal Iqbal give rest to Umar Gul (if Junaid Khan is fit) and drop Nasir Jamshed he needs to play domestic first class for whole season then try his luck in test matches

Posted by maddy20 on (February 20, 2013, 16:53 GMT)

Before this series Pakistanis hoped for a whitewash, and a whitewash is what they are gonna get! NO worries though. They can beat WI again and get their ratings back up!

Posted by   on (February 20, 2013, 16:53 GMT)

I expect to see a 3-0 from South Africa as Pakistan are a team on the decline. No talent the days of Wasim, Saeed etc are gone.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2013, 15:58 GMT)

as expected, pak has only 1 chance to win a test on this tour and that was 2nd test. which they fail to. it will be hard now on. Junaid will be back for tanveer if fit and umar gul should also be rested or drop if they wana test ehsan adil. but i dont think that will happen.

Hope it will be fighting test no matter what the result is

Posted by BaasHerman on (February 20, 2013, 15:55 GMT)

Even after the Pakistanis putting up a very good show at Newlands, there's another massacre on the cards for them!! They will be much better opposition in the shorter formats! I won't be surprised if they take the series in the shorter games..

Posted by   on (February 20, 2013, 15:41 GMT)

On such surfaces, if the teams play with one-day mentality, there could be better outcome. Means aim for quick runs and you will get close to 300 ( or better) instead of grinding where any good ball gets you.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2013, 15:40 GMT)

hoping to see Junaid back in the final test.. some good test cricket coming up.. cant wait.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2013, 15:31 GMT)

Bowling unit needs to put their act together for Pakistan. Gul had no idea of how to exploit the surface. i hope to see an improved performance from pak quicks as Ajmal may not be as threatening at centurian.

Posted by   on (February 20, 2013, 14:50 GMT)

Pakistan need to have this attack: New Ball M Irfan Junaid/Ehsan Adil after 12 Umar Gul Saeed Ajmal and then Hafeez.

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Tour Results
South Africa v Pakistan at Benoni - Mar 24, 2013
South Africa won by 6 wickets (with 36 balls remaining)
South Africa v Pakistan at Durban - Mar 21, 2013
Pakistan won by 3 wickets (with 8 balls remaining)
South Africa v Pakistan at Johannesburg - Mar 17, 2013
South Africa won by 34 runs
South Africa v Pakistan at Centurion - Mar 15, 2013
Pakistan won by 6 wickets (with 28 balls remaining) (D/L method)
South Africa v Pakistan at Bloemfontein - Mar 10, 2013
South Africa won by 125 runs
More results »
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News | Features Last 3 days