Pak, SA set for first Test

Updated: 01 October 2007 07:06 IST

Pakistan and South Africa will adopt contrasting bowling strategies for the first Test of a two-match series on Monday.

Pak, SA set for first Test

Karachi:

Pakistan and South Africa will adopt contrasting bowling strategies for the first Test of a two-match series on Monday.

Pakistan will heavily rely on its slow bowlers after paceman Shoaib Akhtar was dropped from the team for hitting a teammate with the bat in practice before this month's Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa.

Pakistan is likely to field the uncapped Abdul Rehman alongside leg-spinner Danish Kaneria against a touring side as reliant on its traditional strength of seam bowling as ever.

"They have six fast bowlers and only one spinner so we can't play to their strength," Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik said on Sunday.

Malik will be leading the side for the first time in a test match since he was appointed captain after a disappointing World Cup, where Pakistan failed to progress beyond the first round.

"I am not nervous," Malik said. "It is my first test as a captain but I have played a number of test games."

Inzamam-ul-Haq is also unavailable for the first Test, but the home team is strengthened by the return of Mohammad Yousuf, who has cancelled his contract with the Indian Cricket League.

"Inzamam is a great player but cricketers come and go, you have to rely on what is best available to you," Malik said.

The South Africans are coming from a winter season back home, where they failed to qualify for the Twenty20 semifinals. Pakistan lost to India by five runs in the final.

South Africa will only have left-arm spinner Paul Harris to offer variation in the 39 C heat.

"Heat is going to play a role at some stage in the test match, it is very, very hot," South Africa captain Graeme Smith said.

The visitors are worried about the fitness of fast bowler Morne Morkel, who injured his left foot during a warm-up.

Experienced fast bowler Shaun Pollock, who was dropped for the opening Test for the first time in his 107-Test career, might replace Morkel if he fails to recover.

"The key for us is going to adapt our game to the wickets here which is going to be important to work against these guys," Smith said.

Teams:
South Africa (from): Graeme Smith (captain), Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Jean-Paul Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs,

Paul Harris, Jacques Kallis, Morne Morkel, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini, Ashwell Prince, Shaun Pollock, Dale Steyn.

Pakistan (from): Shoaib Malik (captain), Salman Butt, Mohammad Hafeez, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah-ul-Haq, Faisal

Iqbal, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, Danish Kaneria, Abdul Rehman, Taufeeq Umar, Yasir Hameed, Rao Iftikhar.



Topics : Cricket New Zealand Pakistan
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