Pakistan captain Babar Azam is aware that his side has a bad record in tests against South Africa, but he is sure that when the two teams clash in the opening test in Karachi on Tuesday, the history will count for nothing.
South Africa, led by Quinton de Kock, has been playing in Pakistan for the first time since 2007 and has lost just four out of 26 games against its opponents.
“We’re not supposed to think about the past, we’re supposed to focus on what’s ahead,” Babar told reporters. We don’t have anything to do with what happened in the past tournaments.
It’s a fact that we don’t have a strong record against them, but this time we’ve trained well and we expect to do our best against them.
Pakistan named nine uncapped players in their squad for the two tests, while during a 2-0 home win over Sri Lanka in their previous series, the visiting side also unveiled a host of new faces.
Babar, the batting mainstay of Pakistan, missed the 2-0 blanking of his team in New Zealand and will make his Test captaincy debut at home instead, albeit in front of empty stands.
In New Zealand, I lost out, and sadly I became unfit,” said Babar.” It’s a happy moment of my own country for me to make my [Test] captaincy debut.
A strong squad is South Africa. They should never be taken lightly by you, they are a top team. Yet we’re a powerful side as well. Since most of us have grown up playing here, the surroundings would accommodate us better.
For the first test, Babar did not announce the game 11, but said the hosts had a good picture of the mix they would like to use against South Africa.
From February 4, the second test will be played between the sides in Rawalpindi, followed by a three-match Twenty20 series from Feb 11-14 in Lahore.