Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Pakistan vs South Africa: First Test Preview

Pakistan vs South Africa: First Test Preview

Proteas Celebrate

Pakistan will be eager to improve their decidedly average home Test record against South Africa as the Proteas make a historic visit.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

South Africa have an equally enormous task in front of them as they look to snap a diabolical run in Test cricket in Asia.

Pakistan vs South Africa | 26 January - 30 January | The National Stadium, Karachi

To Win Match
Pakistan 21/20
Draw 4/1
South Africa 16/10 

Pakistan will be thrilled to welcome back skipper and star batsman Babar Azam but the ill-fated trip to New Zealand has cost the likes of Shan Masood, Haris Sohail and Imam-ul-Haq their places.

There is an element of the untested to Pakistan's top-order with Abdullah Shafique seemingly selected on the strength of his T20 performances rather than red-ball form.

That will leave Babar and Azhar Ali to effectively carry the Pakistan top-order if the fresh faces cannot stand up and be counted.

It seems likely that Pakistan will give a run to off-spinner Sajid Khan alongside established leggie Yasir Shah. Sajid starred in Pakistan's recently completed first-class season and was one of a number of call-ups as new national selector Mohammad Wasim looked to reward domestic performers.

Shaheen Afridi survived the post-New Zealand cull and looks set to establish himself as the leader of the attack. Surprise call-up Tabish Khan may get a Test debut at the age of 36 but will have to nudge ahead of Hasan Ali or Haris Rauf to get a place in the XI.

South Africa
The Proteas have a lot to prove and an outside shot at the World Test Championship, but few give them a real shot at actually winning the first Test or the series.

Quinton de Kock continues to lead the side but the Proteas will look to Dean Elgar and Faf du Plessis to stand up and keep the top order together.

The Proteas could face a tough selection poser with the merits of spin-bowling allrounder George Linde pitted against in-form Wiaan Mulder.

Keshav Maharaj will be one of the first names on the teamsheet provided he is fully fit with his progression as a batsman adding valuable depth to the Proteas batting.

Kagiso Rabada is set to return, and the Proteas will need him to be at his best to keep Pakistan from taking the game away from them.

Verdict: Pakistan 21/20
Barring a spectacular implosion, Pakistan should win.

Written by James Richardson.

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