South Africa return to Pakistan for a Test series after fourteen years away from the country.
The series marks more significant moments as Pakistan looks to play all their home cricket rather than at neutral venues.
Coming to Cricket, both sides have not been at their best.
Pakistan has recently been whitewashed in New Zealand, while South Africa whitewashed an unmanned Sri Lankan team.
Before the Sri Lankan series, South Africa’s Test record hasn’t looked promising, leaving an exciting series ahead with two teams looking to fight back.
Both sides are led by new leaders, with Quinton De Kock having taught in the last few international games and Babar Azam making his Test captaincy debut.
After a year of chopping and changing, the captaincy has been handed to Pakistan’s promising talent, Babar Azam.
His appointment was inevitable as he has been on a constant rise over the last couple of years, and after missing the Test series, his chance to lead finally comes.
Pakistan has named a new chief selector is Mohammad Wasim, and there have been reviews over the coaching of Misbah Ul-Haq and Waqar Younis.
The two coaches will hope for some redemption as the calls for their removal get louder.
On the other hand, South Africa has struggled with financial issues and transformation targets while they still rebuild after the loss of Ab De Villiers, Hashim Amla, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, and Morne Morkel.
South Africa lost eight of the nine Test matches before the Sri Lanka series and struggled with injuries.
The positives, senior-most batsman Faf Du Plessis, have been in good form, while Kagiso Rabada returns from injury.
Rabada’s return will boost the bowling, as Anrich Nortje has recently discovered some excellent form.
He has been using his pace and skillsets well to become a handy, fast bowler.
Playing in Pakistan may still be a new experience, with very few getting the chance to play the PSL.
The most recent South African side to play in Pakistan was Faf Du Plessis, who has played a considerable amount of Cricket in the country.
The South African spin attack will need to punch above their weight, as the Pakistan side has named a wide range of spinners.
The spinners picked for the tour are Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi.
Both spinners are skilled and manage to do their job well on unresponsive pitches at home, but to do the same on pitches that assist them will be a new challenge.
South Africa: WWLLL
After missing the New Zealand Tests, Azam will finally make his debut as Test captain and lead a side of players looking to cement their spots in the line-up.
His batting has been as good as ever, but his captaincy will be interesting to watch, as he plans and manages a set of inexperienced bowlers.
Aiden Markram got to a flying start in his international career but has struggled to find form after an initial boost.
His average dropped below forty, and the batsman will hope he finds form in Pakistan and lives up to the potential.
Faf Du Plessis:
Faf Du Plessis is South Africa’s senior-most player and the last of the previous generation of South African Cricketers consisting of Ab De Villiers’ likes.
He is a good player of spin bowling and is a useful fielder at the age of 36.
He enjoyed a good series against Sri Lanka, making 199 in the first Test.
With South Africa returning to Pakistan after a long time, Faf’s experience will come to use.
He has played in the nation, but this will be a new challenge as it is his first Test.
Kagiso Rabada has been impressive as a fast bowler and has proved himself across formats and conditions.
His pace and bounce may come in handy as he returns from injury to lead the pace attack.
Abdullah Shafique has been dropped from the Test side, while Imran Butt makes his Test debut.
Yasir Shah will be continuing as the lead spinner.
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 will be looking at their combination to see which player makes the starting eleven.
They have a set of spinners, of which Maharaj and Shamsi are likely to lead the spin attack, while Rabada and Nortje form the pace attack.
Wiann Mulder has shown potential as an all-rounder and could be handed the job in Pakistan.
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
Pitch and Conditions:
The Karachi Surface doesn’t take as much turn as what can be expected in India.
They usually are balanced, but with South Africa showing slight weakness towards spin, they may look for a different surface.
The weather looks clear, with no rain over the five days of the Test.