The Proteas Return To Pakistan
Posted: 25 January 2021
The South African cricket team has finally arrived in Pakistan for their first tour to Pakistan since 2007. That is a break of well over 13 years and the current team have never played there for the Proteas. The tour begins with a Test series starting on the 26th of January 2021 (tomorrow).
The players will have to rely on their coach, Mark Boucher, who played in that series in 2007, will seek advice on how to handle the pitch conditions.South Africa arrive in Pakistan having comprehensively beaten Sri Lanka 2-0 in South Africa over the festive season. The Proteas dominated an injury-hit Sri Lanka, winning an innings in the first test and 10 wickets in the second test.
These results were not celebrated as unanimously as expected with the South African fans having mixed emotions; some were left disappointed as they felt this was the perfect opportunity to stamp in the new positive style of play as the result seemed a foregone conclusion after the injuries in the first test. A fraction of fans were happy with the team finally scoring 600+ for the first time since what seemed like a long time in the memory.
The test team has been in transition since the retirement of some of the best players to have ever played for the national team. This process is taking longer than expected as there weren’t great succession plans in place and the team had to nearly start from scratch.
The only settled batsman in the line up is Dean Elgar in the opening slot. De Kock, who has been our best batsman in this transition period, has been made captain and moved up in the batting line up from 6/7 to 5 and this is all what he needs to keep the wicket.
Faf is our most experienced player and the team is hoping he stays on for a little longer to help team. Moreover, the rest of the line-up still needs to prove itself on the international stage.Kagiso Rabada leads a really young but more settled bowling line-up.
Keshav has been the main spinner for the team with Nortje and Ngidi recently joining them in a four-man attack. Conditions in Pakistan will decide the composition of the bowling attack with the possibility of playing an extra spinner in place of one of the fast bowlers or the allrounder.
Wiaan Mulder seems to be favourite for that all-rounder position after an impressive series against Sri Lanka with the ball. He is considered to be more of a batting all-rounder and more is still expected of him with the bat.
Linde and Shamsi will be competing for that extra spinner role. Our team to play the last test match for the Proteas in Pakistan was a star-studded team which had some of the country’s greatest names since readmission.
Our bowling line-up included legends such as Dale Steyn and Makhaya Ntini, while the batting was probably our best top 6 ever with Smith, Amla, Kallis, Prince and AB forming a batting team that dominated test cricket for years. The current team have big shoes to fill, but need to build their own legacy and build something special for themselves. The squad is full of young, exciting names who will be the future of the Proteas.
These names might not be expected to play but will learn a lot in Pakistan and by being in the Proteas set up. The Proteas will be looking to build on the victory over Sri Lanka by competing in Pakistan and returning to compete against Australia in South Africa.
Positive results in the next two test series will be the perfect way to start a new era in test cricket for the Proteas; an era where they will be competing for the Test Championship. The future is exciting and the fans need to be patient a bit patient alright, but it is looking positive in all honesty.