Pakistan vs. South Africa, 1st Test: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info & Preview
South Africa and Pakistan begin their two Test series in Abu Dhabi on Monday. It's been seven months since the world's No. 1-ranked Test side has stepped out in their cricket whites, and the pressure is on them. Pakistan are fresh off a loss against Zimbabwe and will want to improve on that disappointment just a few weeks ago.
What: South Africa vs. Pakistan, first Test
Where: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
When: Monday 14 October—Friday 18 October, 07:00 a.m. BST
Live Stream/TV info: PTV Sport
Weather: It's going to be hot, hot, hot throughout the match. Accuweather predicts temperatures in the high 30s throughout the game and no chance of any rain to cool things down a little. South Africa have taken to ice pack vests to help keep them cool in the desert heat.
South Africa have not lost a series away from home since 2006, and they are unbeaten in Tests since 2011. It's an impressive record that will now be seriously tested in tough conditions which will be brutal on both their bowlers and their batsmen. The heat in Abu Dhabi and the flatter tracks will be gruelling on South Africa's fast bowlers. Varying their lines and lengths and getting clever with their field placings will see them get the results they want.
The batsmen, although in favourable conditions, will have to contend with the gruelling heat and spinning tracks. Long hours out in the middle and keeping their attitudes in check to not get frustrated is the key for both teams. Pakistan certainly have the talent to do bat for long periods; it's just about getting into the right frame of mind to actually do so.
The last time South Africa toured the UAE, back in 2010, the series ended in a draw. While that is a likely result if Pakistan can find some impetus in their batting, the hosts certainly have the spinners to trouble any team.
Of course South Africa head into the game as favourites, but they also have a target on their back. They have carved a reputation as the team to be beaten, and Pakistan might just spring a few surprises on them.
Saeed Ajmal's crafty spin will be a major factor for the hosts. The captains from both teams agreed that Ajmal will be the key. Against Zimbabwe, Ajmal was the top wickettaker, taking 14 wickets at an average of 19.00 in just two Tests. Overall in the UAE, he's played seven Tests and has 45 wickets at an average of 23.73.
Hashim Amla is a batting superstar, and where better to bat than in conditions that perfectly suit you? Amla has played just two Tests in the UAE, and he averages 88.00 there. Overall against Pakistan, Amla averages 50.56 in 10 games with 108 fifties.
Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Adnan Akmal (w), Abdur Rehman, Ahmed Shehzad, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Junaid Khan, Khurram Manzoor, Mohammad Irfan, Rahat Ali, Saeed Ajmal, Shan Masood, Umar Amin, Younis Khan, Zulfiqar Babar
Graeme Smith (c), AB de Villiers (w), Hashim Amla, Jean-Paul Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Imran Tahir, Jacques Kallis, Rory Kleinveldt, Morne Morkel, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Thami Tsolekile
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