South Africa v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Centurion

Centurion fortress to test battered Pakistan

The Preview by Kanishkaa Balachandran

February 21, 2013

Comments: 56 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

February 22-26, 2013
Start time 1030 local (0830 GMT)

Rory Kleinveldt trains, Brisbane, November 6, 2012
Rory Kleinveldt replacing Morne Morkel is the only change for South Africa © Getty Images

Big picture

If the first half of the South African home Test season was one-sided, the second hasn't been very competitive. Pakistan are in danger of suffering the same fate as New Zealand, in conceding a series sweep. Such has been South Africa's dominance that both Tests so far haven't gone into the fifth day. Pakistan, to their credit, showed fight at Newlands and at one stage, it was the hosts' turn to sweat and play catch-up. But against the best side in the world, the improved showing wasn't good enough. The visitors were guilty of taking their foot off the pedal when the advantage was theirs to extend, and their surrender threw up many baffling questions, ranging from team selection to Misbah-ul-Haq's tactics.

For starters, if the Newlands pitch was predicted to be the most favourable among the three Test surfaces for Pakistan, with its tendency to aid spin, why wasn't Abdur Rehman picked as the second spinner? Rehman was talked about as a likely replacement for the injured Junaid Khan, but he was benched. Saeed Ajmal ended up shouldering the burden of two spinners rather than one, his ten-wicket haul coming in a losing cause. Tanvir Ahmed drew flak for his harmless, 120 kph medium-pacers, who didn't even have the movement to trouble the batsmen. His was hardly a like-for-like replacement for Junaid and during the Test he looked least likely to get a breakthrough.

One player who could have given Ajmal the support needed was Mohammad Hafeez, but he was mysteriously underbowled by Misbah in both innings. Hafeez picked up four in an innings at the Wanderers, but bowled less than 12 overs in the match at Newlands. With the hosts on the brink of victory, Hafeez got one to dart off the rough so much that first slip collected the ball. One wondered about the impact he could have made had he been used effectively as a second spinner. His handling was not properly explained after the game. If Pakistan are to make a fist of the dead rubber at Centurion, they need to recognise their strengths and utilise their players properly, injury permitting of course.

A win at Centurion will not only give South Africa their fifth consecutive home Test win but also 50 Test wins for their captain Graeme Smith, who's now the most successful Test captain in history. South Africa don't play any Tests till the end of this year and Smith spoke of signing off this season with another win.

Form guide

South Africa WWWWW
Pakistan LLDDL

In the spotlight

Mohammad Irfan was one of the positives to emerge from the Newlands Test for Pakistan. The 7ft left-armer had an impressive debut, taking three first-innings wickets, but more than the wickets it was the steep bounce and teasing angle across the right-handers that drew notice. Several deliveries clocked in excess of 140 kph and if he can maintain that speed, he could be more than a handful in Centurion.

The Decision Review System was a topic of controversy at Newlands, with Jacques Kallis' dismissal in the first innings causing plenty of confusion, followed by an apology by the ICC's Playing Control Team stating that he was wrongly adjudged out. While the system has been effective in correcting howlers, loopholes still remain. Both Tests so far have had issues with technology but despite the glitches, both teams are in favour of the DRS.

Team news

Pakistan hinted at a change at the top six, but Misbah, not known to reveal changes on the eve of a Test, stopped short of naming players. Junaid's return isn't certain either, though the team manager said he was feeling better. Tanvir's poor showing might prompt a change, with rookie seamer Ehsan Adil, left-armer Rahat Ali and Rehman in the mix.

Pakistan: (probable) 1 Mohammed Hafeez, 2 Nasir Jamshed, 3 Azhar Ali, 4 Younis Khan, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Asad Shafiq, 7 Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 8 Umar Gul, 9 Saeed Ajmal, 10 Mohammad Irfan, 11 Junaid Khan/Rahat Ali/Ehsan Adil/Abdur Rehman

South Africa announced just one change, with Rory Kleinveldt coming in for the injured Morne Morkel.

South Africa: (probable) 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Alviro Petersen, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 AB de Villiers (wk), 6 Faf du Plessis, 7 Dean Elgar, 8 Robin Peterson, 9 Vernon Philander, 10 Rory Kleinveldt, 11 Dale Steyn

Pitch and conditions

A typical fast bowler's strip is expected at Centurion. It has a tinge of green and is expected to be bouncier than Newlands and the high humidity is likely to aid swing. Thunderstorms are expected.

Stats and trivia

  • South Africa have lost just one Test at Centurion since readmission. It came against England after both captains agreed to forfeit an innings each.
  • Jacques Kallis is the highest run-scorer for South Africa at Centurion with 1267 runs at 70.68 with five centuries. He is also the joint second-highest wicket-taker for South Africa at the venue with 31 wickets with Dale Steyn, behind Makhaya Ntini (54).


"I'm running out of things to say. I am looking forward to that number growing even more. It's a great achievement for me and the guys that I have played with."
Graeme Smith on his thoughts on approaching 50 Test wins as captain.

"They know the importance of Test cricket. Everybody knows the importance and every team wants to win every game. It's not about winning series, its about winning every game."
Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, does not think South Africa will take their foot off the gas.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Kanishkaa Balachandran

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by duncanmoo on (February 22, 2013, 8:20 GMT)

I just love the form guide South Africa WWWWW. South African supporters revel/relish this, but dont be arrogant to others, it was just the other year that we had a lot more D's and L's in that line.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (February 22, 2013, 8:18 GMT)

SA with the toss and bat first.

But the big news is Imran FARTHAT replacing NASIR Jamshed. After the passing of every match it is becoming clearer that Misbah panicing. Jamshed got a bad decision in the 1st innings of the 1st match. Made a stylish 46 in the 2nd innings and recieved some special deliveries in the 2nd test. Yet replaced and HAFEEZ who played badly continues and does not bowl as well. BAD DECISION.

In the bowling attack, good that GUL is injured. I am not sure he is really injured. Since Sept, 2010 Gul has been playing all matches including all practice matches. I think this time Misbah must have felt pressured to drop Gul and try a new combination. In anycase Gul was becoming a liability. THE ONLY PROBLEM IS THAT THE PACE ATTACK HAS A COMBINED EXPERIENCE OF 2 (TWO) TEST MATCHES WITH A 19 YEAR OLD DEBUTANT. Infact all of them have debuted during this series. I hope the senior players are able to guide them..


Posted by Zia-R on (February 22, 2013, 7:46 GMT)

just due to misbha's negative approach and some good luck for SA pakistan have lost the 2nd test match but not this time for sure.

Posted by   on (February 22, 2013, 7:13 GMT)

zia-ar. concentrate on your team statistics for a change Form guide South Africa WWWWW Pakistan LLDDL

Posted by   on (February 22, 2013, 7:12 GMT)

SA is the number team now adays and they played well then Pakistan however our prayers are with Pakistan and wish that they win. Rahat and Tanveer both are tested but no fruitfull results with the bowling, i think ehsan Adi should be given the chance if wicket is supporting fast bowling otherwise Rehman is the best choice.

Posted by Zia-R on (February 22, 2013, 6:26 GMT)

i can bet Pakistan will win this match, i think SA does not deserve the first place, i am still with australia, Australia is still the best cricket team. and this last match will tell u people.

Posted by spas on (February 22, 2013, 6:25 GMT)

battered Sri Lanka managed a test win amid underestimations they were getting from all over the world a some time back. By the way, it is the armies matter, not the fortress. more determined team will win.

Posted by JunaidRao on (February 22, 2013, 6:06 GMT)

Another defeat is waiting for Pakistan.

Posted by   on (February 22, 2013, 5:18 GMT)

ummm difficult pitch still pak is most unpredictable team in the world u never know .hafeez has to do to smthing if pak wants to win but odds are against them SA is world no 1 with a class seam attack

Posted by ColJJ on (February 22, 2013, 5:08 GMT)

Nice analysis , thank you very much. A mistake from Misbah, that should have been mentioned is, "Muhammad Irfan should have been given first new ball in first innings." Prior to the test series, Irfan was speculated as a potential threat and surprise package for RSA and his debut was the most likely affair at Wanderer's. Astonishment of Pakistani fans had not alleviated yet, when they saw another odd - that is, ignoring Irfan in 1st innings (with new ball) at Newlands and handing new ball a below average pacer. Secondly, Pakistan's fielding was also not as good as on Wanderer's, and; drop catches cost them extra runs that could have been sufficient enough to drag the game into day-5 and probably inverting the final result. To sum up, " Very strange tactics from Pakistani Skipper"

Posted by   on (February 22, 2013, 5:04 GMT)

When will the selectors realize that Gul is not a test bowler.He is a good limited overs player.Give Ehsan Adil a go.See what he has got and also he is young.Drop Hafeez down the order at no 5.Play three fast bowlers(if Junaid is fit).Pakistan should play aggressive cricket.No point of playing defensive cricket when you have lost the series.

Posted by Cricket_theBestGame on (February 22, 2013, 4:15 GMT)

for the sake of test going into at least 3 days, i hope smith either lose the toss and misbah bowls first or smith wins toss and goes coocoo and bowls first!

Posted by badmaash on (February 22, 2013, 4:15 GMT)

While i admire the way South Africa fought back - they were also assisted by umpiring errors. Misbah needs to step up his captaincy and be more proactive - while the rest of the batsmen need to show some backbone as well. But seriously - the guys who really sucked at their job (other than Hafeez and Jamshed) are the umpires.The whole first innings lead by Pakistan was lost because a wicket-ball was wrongly called as a no-ball.

Posted by Resultpredictor on (February 22, 2013, 3:17 GMT)

Pakistan get ready for one more huge loss and embrassing whitewash. No one can save you from this humiliation. Pakistan is playing just for defeat. At present Pakistan is playing worst cricket than Bangladesh. Congrats SA for series whitewash.

Posted by   on (February 22, 2013, 2:50 GMT)

With a career test average of 34, umar gul averages 54 with the bowl against the proteas. Though he is an exceptional bowler in limited over cricket, he has failed to perform in tests. Also there is nothing to lose for Pak, they should try the new fast bowling combination of Irfan, Junaid & Ehsan Adil. With only 3 days gap between the limited overs matches & the 3rd test, Pak should play another excellent spinner Abdur Rehman ahead to Ajmal to give Ajmal much needed rest before the T20s & odi's as he was overbowled in the 2nd test. In batting Pak should somehow look to Bat-out the first 20 overs of new balls & to score quickly against the older ball. For that to happen the should promote blockers like Azhar & Mibah to no 2 & 3 in the batting order & send one of Nasir & hafeez to middle order to score quickly along with inform Asad and Yunus. So, 1. Hafeez 2. Azhar 3. Misbah 4. Yunus 5. Nasir 6. Asad 7. Sarfraz.

Posted by   on (February 22, 2013, 1:47 GMT)

PART III (6.)There is something called SYNERGY, and whenever Misbah and Azhar come to the crease they bring NEGATIVE SYNERGY to the crease. Means other end also start mimicking their slow play, even though other batsman is well capable of playing at normal rate. Same has been the problem with Taufeeq Umar. You can have one such player in a team in this modern test team but having more than one of them make viewer lose interest and in pressure situations these combinations doesn't work out either because it turns out they have stood at crease for whole day and only managed 2 runs per hour.

CricInfo Please Publish

Posted by   on (February 22, 2013, 1:38 GMT)

PART II (5.) I have to hand it to our captain for not having any spine, being defencive is not bad itself, but being never be able to change gear and go for kill is spineless character. He could have used Hafeez when he saw spinner is taking wickets. He could have added Abdur Rahman knowing he is a good performer on slow wicket. He could have not tried that reverse sweep second time. He could have moved Hafeez down the order knowing he is constantly failing at top. He could have moved himself down the order and send Asad first to play but hopeless. Sometime I wonder these people sitting out in front of their computers who may have never played hard ball cricket themselve know which combination is good for team how are these so called pro's don't get it? I mean everyone was saying for crying out loud play Abdur Rahman and yest Misbah took another spineless character in the team so called Mr. Tanvir Ahmad. CricInfo Please Publish

Posted by spectatorview on (February 22, 2013, 1:33 GMT)

Momentum is with SA they will not allow Pakistan to spoil their party, conditions are ideal for SA bowlers in Centurion and there is no need to mention SA record on this ground.

Posted by SK14 on (February 22, 2013, 1:21 GMT)

The pitch in centurion flattens out after the first days play, PAK should go with rehman if junaid is out. Hafeez should bat at no.6 or 7, azhar and jamshed look as if they mean business now. Stuff test again for PAK, their best chance was at newlands.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (February 22, 2013, 0:29 GMT)

@ Surajdon9 Thanks for your sportsmanship in your post titled "SA champions." We Saffas are so tired of daily reading posts from bitter Aussies and a few disgruntled Poms desperate to deride and denigrate SA's current success. Despite both having lost to SA twice in a row, at home, they continue to deny SA's supremacy. Whether it is criticizing Philander & claiming that his records have no meaning, or claiming that Steyn is not miles ahead of Starc/Pattinson/Anderson/make your own choice, or denying Kallis his place alongside Sobers as the 2 greatest all-rounders ever, to even denying that SA are the no.1 team, the best test team, at the moment, they ignore stats, records and plain common sense in favor of spewing out their jealousy and hatred. SA's current record, as so clearly laid out by you, is indisputable. Playing classy opponents, who are prepared to acknowledge that record, and still bring their best to every game, makes following cricket a pleasure. Viva Pakistan!

Posted by t20cric on (February 22, 2013, 0:05 GMT)

Pakistan must try to be more consistent. Pakistan sort of dominated in the first day of the 1st test but then lost it in all of the 3 days after. The 2nd test Pak dominated for 2 days but then let SA take over again and lost the test in just 4 days. If in this next test Pakistan maybe dominate for 3 days then the test will probably last for 2 more days. If Pakistan can keep SA in trouble for the whole match then Pakistan will be able to win.

Posted by t20cric on (February 21, 2013, 23:58 GMT)

when it comes to batting then it is obvious that SA are better than Pak. Even though 2 Pak players have made centuries and only one SA player has made a century SA bat better. The highest score in this series is shared between Younis and Asad. Pakistan also have the highest score in a single innings in this series. But the reason Pakistan is doing bad is cuz of our openers who put up opening stands of 9, 7, 10 and 0. Compare to SA opening stands of 46,82,36 and 10. Hwen our openers can play the new ball then we have a chance.

Hafeez and Sarfaraz are people who I really hope bat good they both have only got double digit scores once. Those two should make atleast 30 runs. Hafeez still has hope cuz he is an allrounder but sarfaraz's highest score in tests is 13 which he made this tour. He should be rested if he can't do anything this match but definitely his career should not be over because he is only 25. Its just that as a wicketkeeper you should be able to bat e.g dhoni,de villiers

Posted by t20cric on (February 21, 2013, 23:36 GMT)

If you compare SA's highest wicket taking bowler steyn with Pakistan's highest wicket taking bowler ajmal. Steyn took 15/40 wickets so that is 37.5% of the wickets SA have taken so far. Ajmal took 11/29 wickets so that is nearly 38% of the wickets pak have taken so far. The 2nd best wicket taking south african is philander with 13/40 so that is 32.5% but umar gul Pak's 2nd best also the "leader" of our pace attack has only 5/29 wickets which is about 17%. Ajmal and Steyn are about even but Philander is better than umar gul. Certainly if Junaid khan played in the 2nd match or Mohammed irfan in the first then one of them would have been near Philander's percentage.

I hope Irfan and Junaid bowl together and are as effective as they were against India.

Posted by   on (February 21, 2013, 22:26 GMT)

@ greatest game, never mind the ramblings of mr Mark Nicholas . Even though rankings said that the poms were number one then, it was only bad weather in new zealand which had prevented SA from whitewashing the kiwis and thus not being ranked number one. England at the time while a strong team, were known in proper cricketing circles to be inferior to SA. SA at the moment are far superior to Pakistan and in a test match, a side has to outclass it's opponents over 2 full innings. Pakistan do not currently have the ability and stamina to do it. Perhaps if this were a 50 or 20 over pyjama stunt , there may be a chance we lose this one. You are right that it's not a fortress or that we don't think we are superior. As a South African supporter, not only do i know we are but im Proud, that currently, we are superior. Time for the boys to really drive that home. Cmon Proteas!!!!!!

Posted by Omarrz on (February 21, 2013, 22:23 GMT)

This preview sounds a bit more like the author's analysis of 2nd Test.

Posted by SapnerJadukar on (February 21, 2013, 22:12 GMT)

Brilliant white wash waiting for "predictable" Pakistan !! Not so unpredictable any more isn't it.. just hugely over rated! Lol :)

Posted by SurlyCynic on (February 21, 2013, 22:12 GMT)

@Greatest_Game - Great post. That article was hilarious. The thought of a similar 'Fortress South Africa' article sends shivers down my spine!

Posted by cricket_pak419 on (February 21, 2013, 22:07 GMT)

This is unbeleiveble!!!!!! Pakistan are done for. At first i though Misbah was a good captain but seriously this is unbelevieble. Im very scared about a whitewash. I just hope they can win this one. We have run out of star players. We need more batting stars. We have our bowling out perfectly but our batting is trash. We need the likes of Javed or inzamam in this team.

Posted by Desihungama on (February 21, 2013, 22:04 GMT)

One howler against South Africa and ICC officially issues an apology. Several blunders by DRS against Pak, specifically third umpire Steve Davis at his atrocious best and there is no mention ICC would look to review either the system or umpiring blunders. Enlighten me.

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

If you're a betting man you can go all-in on Kallis scoring a big one in this Test. Despite being in great form he's currently experiencing his longest century drought for more than a decade and Centurion is one of his favorite strips to bat on. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Posted by tests_the_best on (February 21, 2013, 21:36 GMT)

Neutral (Ind) supporter here and I would be disappointed to see Pak getting whitewashed. Too many one-sided series are bad advert for test cricket. As recognized by many, this is not as much of a dead rubber, especially for Pak since any test victory in SA by a subcontinental side is a big achievement. From SA point of view as well who are now firmly established as the top side but aiming higher, dropping this test wouldn't look too pretty. Ideally they would want a 3-0 or atleast a 2-0 series win.

More than anything else, I am hoping to see a superlative bowling performance by Pak since that's their main strength and frankly, so far in this series, Pak bowling all in all (save Ajmal) has been rather disappointing, failing to live up to the pre-series expectations.

Posted by Surajdon9 on (February 21, 2013, 21:06 GMT)

Gul bagged his 3rd duck of the series by flashing at one without having a look

SA are 13-9 in sessions on this tour

1st test = 8-3 SA 2nd test = 6-5 Pak

Posted by Surajdon9 on (February 21, 2013, 21:05 GMT)

SA Champions

We are playing the best side in the world in their own conditions. They are a skillful side and an accomplished one in more or less every department. We are playing in an environment that is unique and unusual for many of our players. Obviously, conditions have a bigger impact the longer the format. Cricket does not get harder than this. We might have lost 2-0, however we have also had our moments on this tour. We are up against the best number 1 side in the world game since Australia early 2000s; who are tipped to lead the way in the test arena for some time to come. Players require support and backing more than ever here. I repeat, cricket does not get harder than this.

6 series wins in a row 12 series without a series defeat 14 tests without defeat 5 test wins in a row Yet to lose a test in their last 5 series In admiration of what a proper number 1 side should be South Africa are the best in the business and are set to have a long stay at the top for sure....

Posted by Surajdon9 on (February 21, 2013, 21:04 GMT)

Shafiq's Ton

Asad Shafiq has class written all over him. He has the mastered the art of how to quietly reconstruct the innings when the side are up against it. Ideal for number 6, not a complete basher or a complete blocker. He knows when to hang in there and when to push on. He's playing the sort of innings VVS used to do for India.

Momentous moment for Shafiq to get his first ton outside Asia. 30 odd for 4 against the best attack in the world and Asad Shafiq survives for 70 overs to lift the morale in the camp for these 2 tests. Grace, elegance, wrist work and precious ability to withstand pressure.

Credit to Misbah and Mohsin for selecting Asad Shafiq, preserving with him when Yousuf was fit and available and then making the bold and right move of preferring him ahead of the likes of Umar Akmal for the number 6 position..

Posted by ilyas on (February 21, 2013, 20:53 GMT)

I really fear that if we bat first tomorrow we won't score100. Misbah and the selectors need to be brave and drop gul and tanvir and bring in the young boy ehsan and a hopefully fit junaid. You can play defensive cricket in UAE and get away with it as the wickets are so flat but on fast bouncy tracks against top class bowlers that will not work. Open with azhar and jamshed and bring hafeez in at 6 and let's try to play the aggressive cricket we were famous for and I don't mean trying to slog. Defensive cricket against this top quality SA side is pointless. But knowing this Pakistan side we will probably score at 1.5 runs per over, play tanvir and rehman (on a green track) and also nlay the absolutely useless farhat!!!

Posted by PakoP on (February 21, 2013, 20:39 GMT)

Abdur Rehman was so missed in the last Test. He should have been in the team.

Posted by Major85D on (February 21, 2013, 20:23 GMT)

This pakistani team can not beat south africa! first of all, dave whatmore is not the right coach, please replace him! and misbah is not the right captain! he must retire! both made to many big mistakes! If there is the right coach and a good team selection, pakistan can beat the world no 1 at any place in the world, so please react!!

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 21, 2013, 20:18 GMT)

Don't think I've ever seen so many players in contention for the number 11 slot as the Pakistan team there. Anyway, hope it's a great game like the others.

Posted by Ahmed_Cricket_Lover on (February 21, 2013, 19:53 GMT)

Imran Farhat will open in next test.what a joke?His test batting average is only 31.87 in 39 test.we have been watching him for the last 11 years.He hasn't done anything yet.Our dumb and puppet selector(Iqbal Qasim) gave him another chance under the huge pressure of another former stupid selector and Imran Farhat's father in law M Ilyas.I bet he will be get out by SA in first 5 overs.Similarly our so callled hero Mr boom boom is also included in odis.Let see what he will do.I guess after failing in upcoming odis he will be there with team to play against weaker opponents on flat track. Hats off to Pakistani supporters who never support selfless and talented players like Abdul Razzaq,Abdur Rehman,Younus Khan

Posted by Greatest_Game on (February 21, 2013, 19:46 GMT)

Oh no, oh no! He used that dreaded word 'Fortress.' This could be the kiss of death for South Africa! This is bad, bad, bad.

Last year Mark Nicholas, in an article titled "Welcome to Fortress England," claimed "James Anderson is one of the best there has been," & England have "air of superiority over all those who visit these shores." (He had forgotten that Eng had just been whitewashed by Pakistan.) He wrote "Welcome to fortress England, where the bowlers suffocate, the fielders crow & the batsmen strut," ending with the assertion "That Mace is as safe as a slip catch in the hands of the England captain..."

Weeks later, Eng were crushed by SA, surrendered The Mace, & the Eng captain resigned. Nicholas' article, it seems, had been the kiss of death!

There is no 'Fortress SA.' The bowlers don't crow, the batsmen don't strut, & we don't think we are superior. Welcome to Happy SA. We like our guests, & hope that you enjoy your visit to the Rainbow Nation. Good luck with the cricket.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (February 21, 2013, 19:39 GMT)

Looking forward to the test. Pakistan have put up a fight this series, but if they bat first tomorrow I think we'll see their batsmen 'dancing'.

Posted by anuajm on (February 21, 2013, 19:32 GMT)

Pakistan though did erred in selection in the last match, but SA would have still managed to defeat them, so strong are they. Let's accept that they are losing to a much superior team. It's not easy to bat against Steyn and Philander and Pakistan fought extremely well in the last match. Don't criticize your heroes for the sake of it, they don;t want to lose, they want to win more badly than the fans. A respectful whitewash is not a bad result against SA.

Posted by ShreJ on (February 21, 2013, 19:08 GMT)

Tanvir Ahmed actually makes me laugh because of his slow pace. I would rather pick Junaid Khan or Abdur Rehman. Junaid Khan has shown great promise and Abdur Rehman is good for adding pressure on the batsmen along with Ajmal. Why Rehman wasnt chosen in the past matches is above me, cos i believe Pak could have got a win with him on the team, but they still have 1 shot at victory tomorrow

Posted by   on (February 21, 2013, 19:01 GMT)

I think Pak needs an aggbresive captain in place of Misbah as he is too slow which was seen in the second test where he, Azhar and Asad crawled at 2 runs an over. Going back to the second test-Staying at the wicket was good, but runs were also needed as 2 full days had to be played out and need was to play at the rate of atlest 3 per over. Again Misbah's dismissal was strange, trying first a reverse which he failed to connect but 3 balls later he again went for a sweep and was caught. We need captains like Imran or Miandad who were able to steer the team out of similar difficulties.

I am sure Pak is going to be white washed. There is no other way when Pak front line batsmen are unable to cope up with new ball moving both ways at 90 miles miles.

Posted by Rolling_in_The_Deep on (February 21, 2013, 18:49 GMT)

Mysterious selection and tactics cost Pakistan the Newlands test and series..Abdur Rahman was the obvious pick but he selected a fading fast bowler who was as toothless as a snail..then his handling of Hafeez.. something is not right in Pakistan dressing room..

Posted by likeintcricket on (February 21, 2013, 18:31 GMT)

Only because of some poor selection and some bad luck that they lost the series. Pakistan has many proud performances recently and few defeats against the #1 side in their home country cannot make them BD or anyone. Some of their best bowlers and batsman are lost during few years due to several reasons and they are without their cricketing home. Still they are third in the world and much more talented and competitive. If they select proper side and play to their strength they can still beat SA.

Posted by   on (February 21, 2013, 18:30 GMT)

people like misbah can only pass these type of statements while doing zero performance. the truth is Pakistan team had played last two games with 8 players, Thats it.....

Posted by   on (February 21, 2013, 18:29 GMT)

This is definitely not the last test of the year for RSA... they have an away series against Pakistan in October and then a home series against India in December and I'm sure boxing day test will be pretty much on...

Posted by   on (February 21, 2013, 18:26 GMT)

ohhh my dear mzm149, relax, bowling is not an issue for Pakistan all fast bowlers on earth have fitness issues just scroll around you will definitely find many names, especially fast bowling is not an easy task. The main issue is our batting line up and I assure you that misbah uncle will also play like a rat in this game as well and IN SHA ALLAH Pakistan will successfully manage a white wash. If the credit for winning the test series against england and winning odi series against india was given to uncle misbah then also please only criticize captain as he is not performing at all and not coming up with any plan. 1000 laughs at our management they dropped Afridi for no reason and indeed they selected him back again for no reason haha

Posted by Surajdon9 on (February 21, 2013, 18:16 GMT)

I dnt know Junaid is fit or not.If Junaid can't play Ehsan should be selected.My Playing XI :

Jamshed Farhat Azar Younis Misbah Asad Sarfraz Rahat Ali Ajmal Ehsan/Junaid Irfan

Posted by   on (February 21, 2013, 18:08 GMT)

with series lost i think they should rest/drop gul and play ehsan to see whats he has got. picking rehman on this surface is not going to work.

Posted by mzm149 on (February 21, 2013, 18:04 GMT)

If Junaid Khan doesn't play tomorrow's test, what is his use in this the team. He should be sent back to Pakistan if he isn't fit enough to play all matches in an important series. If he becomes fit after test series he shouldn't be allowed to play ODIs and t20s.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (February 21, 2013, 17:55 GMT)

This test also will not last for 5 days as Pak is no better than BD

Posted by Dannymania on (February 21, 2013, 17:20 GMT)

Yeah ofcourse Misbah states the well-known always!The Southafricans are the number one team in the world and ofcourse they wont give up without a fight like spartans!Misbah selected Tanvir over Rehman for the last game.that shows how good a cricketing brain he has.

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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
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News | Features Last 3 days