Former pacer Shoaib Akthar believes that Pakistan team’s win against South Africa in the two-match Test series beginning Tuesday, would depend on the kind of wickets the hosts prepare for the games.
“South Africa is touring Pakistan after 14 years which is great news for the whole nation. I think Pakistan’s chances of winning the series will depend on what kinds of pitches are prepared and the team combinations,” he said in a video on his YouTube channel.
However the Rawalpindi Express hoped that Pakistan doesn’t make flat wickets. “I hope Pakistan doesn’t make flat wickets as this would result in 500-plus runs total and drawn matches, which we don’t want to see,” he said.
Akhtar, who bagged 178 wickets in 46 Tests, feels that the spinners can prove vital in the series.
It will a very crucial series for the team management. You will have to see how you can take the home advantage,” he said and added that the toss will also be very important.
Akhtar, who grabbed 247 wickets in 163 ODIs, said his best wishes were with the Pakistan team to win the series. “South Africa is a strong team. We need to catch them with spinners. If flat wickets are made then the Tests will head to draws,” he said.
The first of the two-match series would take place at the National Stadium, Karachi from Tuesday.
South Africa have had a rethink about their plans for the first Test against Pakistan which gets under way on Tuesday at the National Stadium in Karachi, coach Mark Boucher has said.
“We have only been able to go to the ground in the last few days because of security measures and there is a luscious outfield, not the abrasive kind we have seen before which aids reverse swing.” South Africa have changed their selection plans from a predominantly seam bowling attack to multiple spinners.
“We will definitely play more than one spinner and we have different options in the squad,” Boucher said. “We have the mindset that we are not scared to go out and try something different.“If you want to go and win series away from home you have to be prepared to make big calls.
“Looking at the squad selected, they (Pakistan) are going in with a spin mindset and we have to believe we can do it too in these conditions.”
Pakistan (Probable): 1 Abid Ali 2 Imran Butt 3 Azhar Ali 4 Babar Azam (capt) 5 Fawad Alam 6 Mohammad Rizwan (wk) 7 Faheem Ashraf 8. Hasan Ali 9 Nouman Ali 10 Yasir Shah 11 Shaheen Afridi
South Africa (possible): 1 Aiden Markram 2 Dean Elgar 3 Rassie van der Dussen 4 Faf du Plessis 5 Quinton de Kock (capt, wk) 6 Temba Bavuma 7 Wiaan Mulder 8 Keshav Maharaj 9 Anrich Nortje 10 Kagiso Rabada 11 Lutho Sipamla/LungiNgidi/Tabraiz Shamsi.—AFP