• Four players to watch against Pakistan

    The Proteas will face a stern challenge when they take on Pakistan in two Test matches, starting at the end of the month. ANDRE HUISAMEN selects four players crucial to the Proteas’ quest for success.

    The Proteas haven’t toured Pakistan in 14 years, making the upcoming Test series even more daunting. Fresh off a series victory over a wounded Sri Lankan team, the Proteas will face a much tougher test in the subcontinent.

    Dean Elgar

    His recent knocks in Centurion and at the Wanderers were timely reminders of the quality of Elgar. His tough-nut approach is a valuable asset to this Proteas team and will be just as important in Pakistan. Elgar also poses a decent record in the subcontinent, in comparison to his fellow Test batsmen. His start at the top of the order will set an extremely important foundation for the batting unit under difficult conditions. The left-hander will thus play a critical part in the Proteas putting on decent scores against the Pakistan bowlers.

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    Quinton de Kock

    De Kock failed to score any significant runs against Sri Lanka and it is important that he comes good in this upcoming series. Captaincy aside, De Kock is still one of the most talented batsman in South Africa. For him to play his regular game will immensely aid the Proteas batting lineup in Pakistan. His role down the order remains crucial due to the inconsistency the top order is still trying to work off. For the Proteas to claim victory in Pakistan, De Kock will have to come good with the bat and he needs to bat with freedom again.

    Keshav Maharaj

    Maharaj’s role in the same quest will be equally important, maybe even more so. His spin-bowling ability will be called upon with huge expectation in the subcontinent and it is important that he delivers. Maharaj has grown into one of the more experienced members in this Test team – he will need to use that to give the Proteas hope against the Pakistan batsmen. The left-armer was successful when the Proteas played in Sri Lanka back in 2018 and also managed to pick up wickets in the devastating tour of India a year later.

    Kagiso Rabada

    Rabada’s return to the Test squad will be a huge boost for the players as they head to Pakistan. Rabada hasn’t played Test cricket in almost a year and will hopefully be hungry and eager to get back into the action. The 25-year-old remains the Proteas’ biggest weapon and they need him to be aggressive and at his best when the first Test gets under way. Hopefully, Rabada’s lengthy absence from the game over the past 12 months would have ignited that fire that has become synonymous with his brilliance. If he can put the Pakistan batsmen under pressure from the start, then the Proteas will be on the front foot to come out on top.

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    Andre Huisamen