Pakistan V South Africa – click here for Live Betting Odds
Like buses, you wait ages for a Test series, and then two come along at once. Monday sees the start of another 2 match Test series, this time between Pakistan and South Africa in UAE.
South Africa go into the series as overwhelming odds on favourites, they start the series at 8/11, Pakistan 7/2, and a drawn series starts off at 12/5.
While on paper it looks like a walk in the park for the South Africans, I do believe that if they think they only need to turn up to beat Pakistan, they could be in for a surprise. I’m sure Graeme Smith’s men aren’t that naive, they must have seen what happened to England in 2012 when they toured the UAE as the top ranked team in the world.
Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy are all retuning from injury, this is basically as bad as the problems get for South Africa – and if they were not already a strong enough outfit, with AB de Villiers now wearing the wicket keeping gloves they effectively have an extra place available in the team.
Pakistan on the other hand have been patchy with their form over the past few months, mainly caused by troubles at the top of their batting, and travel sickness.
They can’t keep relying on the middle order of Younis Khan and Misbah -ul-Haq to carry the batting. Generally when they come in to bat, the team is already in trouble. I get the feeling if Pakistan are to have any chance of success in this series, they need the top order to start contributing more.
Pakistan naturally seem to perform a lot better in Asian conditions. I know that it’s true that most/all sides prefer home conditions, but it is especially true of Pakistan.
One reason why this is the case is because Saeed Ajmal can look like the best bowler in the world when he plays in these conditions, it will be very interesting to see how the South African batsmen get on against him (he is 6/4 favourite to be top Pakistan series bowler).
The 1st Test is to be played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. There has only been 3 Tests played on this ground, the first two were high scoring affairs, followed by a tight low scoring match in 2012, which culminated in England’s capitulation for 72 all out.
Full Test Match Fixtures
14th – 18th Oct – Pakistan V South Africa – 1st Test – Abu Dhabi
23rd – 27th Oct – Pakistan V South Africa – 2nd Test – Dubai