Pak-Proteas Test series, a big challenge

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THE NATION, karachi, 08th OCTOBER 2013:- Stiff challenge is awaiting Pakistan in the two-test match series against South Africa which will start in Abu Dhabi on Oct 14 despite spinning tracks and home team’s formidable spin attack, former test leg-spinner Abdul Qadir commented on Monday.
“South Africa is the world’s best Test team and it will be a huge challenge for Pakistani team to beat them,” he told APP in an interview. He said South Africans are fighters to core and play with a lot of flair and their hallmark is their patriotic approach. He said Pakistan got a surprise package in shape of left arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar.
Qadir said South African think tank and players have seen and played a lot against Saeed Ajmal, but Zulfiqar will be a new commodity for the tourists. “If ball turns, Zulfiqar can even pose problems for South African batsmen,” he said.
He rated Zulfiqar Babar a better left arm spinner as compared to Rehman. “Both are in different category.Zulfiqar turns and flight the ball while Rehman pushes the ball through quickly,” he said.
He was of the view that there will be a huge pressure on Pakistan’s seasoned batsmen Younis Khan and Captain Misbahul Haq. “Performance of our batsmen will be key to success if our spinners showed their magic like against England on same ground two years ago,” he remarked. However, he said despite the presence of strong spin trio of Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman and Zulfiqar, Pakistan would be missing the traditional right arm leg-spinner.
“South African batsmen are traditionally good against off-spinner and left arm spinners. But not at times struggle against quality leg-spinners. Qadir said Bubbling right arm leg-spinner Yasir Shah from Swabi played a One-day International against Zimbabwe in 2011.
He said Misbah’s Pakistan team should at their best in batting, bowling, fielding and mentally to surprise Protease. He said if Pakistan enjoy edge in spin department, their opponents are better equipped in pace attack and experience batting line-up. However, he said a big question mark will be, how the Pakistan curators prepare the tracks in Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi and Dubai Sports City where the Test matches will be played.
“If wickets are not suited to our spinners, it could dent our hopes of toppling South Africa,” he said. He also surprise that selectors have packed Pakistan pace attack with left arm bowlers like M Irfan, Junaid Khan and Rahat Ali. “The selectors should have picked one right arm pace bowler to create variety in their attack,” he pointed.
He said Pakistan’s success in the series depend on unity, harmony and cohesion in the team. “It is a team game and everyone should back each other for achieving victory,” he said.

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