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pakistan south africa tests, pakistan south africa wanderers, pakistan's tour of south africa, pakistan south africa tests, pakistan south africa series, pakistan south africa coverage, geoff boycott, mohammad akram, misbah-ul-haq, graeme smith
“Can Pakistan’s batsmen bat against the best seam attack in the world?” -Photo by AP

“Can Pakistan’s batsmen bat against the best seam attack in the world?” That is the burning question for most Pakistan fans and one that former England batsman and pundit Geoffrey Boycott thinks could be the decisive factor as far as Misbah-ul-Haq’s men are concerned.

According to him, South Africa’s pace attack, which includes the likes of Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel will be the biggest difference between the two sides. And while Pakistan too have a world-class bowling line, Boycott believes there was a big gap between the quality of South Africa and the tourists’ batsmen.

“The South African batsmen are good - there’s Kallis, Amla, Smith, there’s AB de Villiers, who is a fabulous player as well, but it is not that that would worry me if I was Pakistan.

“Can Pakistan’s batsmen bat against the best seam attack in the world? They are definitely going to come at Pakistan really strong.

“Morne Morkel is bowling well, Dale Steyn is the best in the world, and (Vernon Philander) who is injured at the moment picks up wickets every time he bowls, doesn’t he? South Africa’s bowling is the best in the world by far. Philander would be a crackerjack bowler in any era, any period, any team, let me tell you. The others aren’t behind – they are very good indeed, so I put my money on South Africa.”

Boycott said he admired Pakistan for their fighting spirit despite the hardships they faced but repeated that South Africa, where they are yet to win a Test series, will be a challenge.

Pakistan play a warm-up match against a South African Invitation XI in East London, starting January 25, before facing-off against Graeme Smith’s top-ranked side in the first Test at the Wanderers on February 1.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s bowling coach, Mohammad Akram, said his side would be taking the practice game very seriously and looking to play ‘hard’ cricket on the tour.

“We are taking this game very seriously,” Akram said.

“Our team is a good mix of youth and senior players. We’ll be focusing hard for the Tests against the No 1 team in the world, South Africa, and playing good, hard cricket.”

Comments (17) Closed

Muminah ahmed Jan 25, 2013 08:24pm
No I do not believe that Pakistan cannot win we will fight back and win inshallah.
Muminah ahmed Jan 25, 2013 08:15pm
Pakistan all the best I am a big fan of you, I like you a lot please just do not win against south afriacah but win everything, concentrate on batting more you are the best team in the world I hope Allah shows you the right way and you win the work cup 2013 pleae for us Pakistani people and for Allah for has created you and your team players please win.......... Locke you.
Muminah ahmed Jan 25, 2013 08:21pm
All the best win every game and do win the World Cup 2013 too get strong players we want to become the strongest side in the world of everything concentrate more on your batting a bit as well as like bowling inshallah you will win everything against South Africa, Love you all, Bright abdur razzak back on the team please and Mohamed yousaf please thank you.........
zain Jan 26, 2013 12:03am
no khan pakistan has the third best record against SA in SA after england and Aus
Arif Jan 24, 2013 07:08pm
I still believe in Pakistan if they work hard and play as a Pakistan team not as national teams. They could win any game. Arif
Farrukh Jan 24, 2013 03:55pm
Gotta love the spin on the headline!
azhar damino Jan 24, 2013 04:16pm
The real challenge for pakistani batsmen would be the bounce as the south african pitches are very bouncy, as far as pak batesmen is conceren they have not been playing on such pitches for the past many years so best of luck pak team
Shado Jan 25, 2013 04:15pm
I think spin for pakistan should be a factor, and dismantle SF team in there home (they are very use to play pacers, b/c thats what they have experienced one). They should play with three full time pacers and 2 full time spinners. UG, Irf, jun, saed, abul-rehman, we know hafeez can cover in the middle, some overs can be done by Azhar ali(enough rest for bowlers). If we can make there run rate slower and have them play longer regardless low scoring easier to chase even if the batting line stay on the crease and make runs like a snail. ---- > i think a good team selected now. Interesting to watch, better than - India - my 2paisa analysis
aziz ahmed Jan 24, 2013 05:24pm
Pakistan are likely to lose this series due to bad selection. They need some batsmen in the middle who can play in crisis situation. Fawad Alam has proven many times in crises situation, he also has a great average for tests and ODI. He is also an excellent fielder. Shahdi Afrdii also could have made the difference. Probably not in our lifetime when a Pakistani cricket team will ever be selected on merit.
Karachi Wala Jan 24, 2013 05:46pm
I agree with Geoff Boycott's assesment of Pakistan batsmen.
Salman Jan 24, 2013 07:03pm
Well i tend to disagree with G Boycott on bowling account. Pakistan's bowling attack is by no mean inferior to that of SA, rather i would place it above SA owing to recent performances by J Khan and M Irfan, where as, Gul, Ajmal and Hafeez are other world class bowlers. Our batting and fielding is indeed a concern, but i feel we can cover it up by our bowling. If Pakistan puts up 300 on board, no batting lineup in the world would find it easy against our spin and pace attack. If one follows SA Media, they r already sweating to face Pakistan
sali Jan 24, 2013 08:08pm
Batting trio of Hafeez, Misbah and Yonus and our fielding will decide the faith. If the trio can't match SA batting, we are doomed.
Mustafa Jan 24, 2013 08:47pm
Team Pakistan! do your best and leave the rest to Allah. If you go down fighting, we will not be sad. If you win: balle balle
Khan Jan 24, 2013 08:59pm
Pakistan has the worst record playing in south africa ... it will be tough specially with the young pace attack and unreliable batting attack ...
Observer Jan 25, 2013 04:13am
Good luck Pakistan.
nayyar51 Jan 25, 2013 07:51am
Mr. Geoffrey Boycott mark my words, its bowlers who win the matches; and there is even a bigger and wider gap between the Pakistani bowlers and the bowlers of any team in the world, leave alone South African Bowling. Hope you remember how Pakistani bowling blew to smithereens, the batting power house of the then world number 1 Test team i.e., England.
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Jan 25, 2013 02:12pm
Boycott is absolutely right. It's the bad batting followed by sloppy fielding that has let the 'green-shirts' down in the recent past and if they have to start winning again, they must improve their batting and fielding prowess and traits and bring them to the international level. As far as bowling is concerned, Umar Gul and party in the fast bowling department and Saeed Ajmal and company in the spin club are pretty good and can turn the tables on their opponents no matter who they are? In fact, the standard of first-class cricket and cricketers in the 'land of the pure' is not up to the mark. Therefore, most of the top players produced by its first class system are lacking the cutting edge to compete internationally against top cricket teams of the world. History is testimony to the fact that most of the first class cricketers of Pakistan recently elevated to international cricket level did not come up to the expectations and quickly went into oblivion. Being an ardent and selfless fan and supporter of the Pakistani cricket and cricketers, I wish, hope and pray that the sooner than later, the standard of batting followed by fielding of the current Pakistani team comes at par with top international cricket teams like Australia and South Africa and they once again start winning test matches on foreign soil. Pakistan Zindaa Baad, Pakistani cricketers Paeendaa Baad.