Ahead of Tuesday’s significant opening Test match between Pakistan and the Proteas in Karachi, ANDRE HUISAMEN unpacks the South Africans’ record against Pakistan in the longer format.
Tuesday’s start will prove to be somewhat historic when Quinton de Kock leads a South African team on to a Pakistan field for the first time in more than 13 years.
Both teams have a lot to play for and find themselves in a similar rebuilding phase, which will become more important as the two-match series developes.
Since readmission the Proteas and Pakistan have battled each other in 11 Test series, with South Africa far more dominant than their opponents.
Pakistan have only won a single Test series against the Proteas during that time. Mohammed Yousuf led a strong and determined team to a 1-0 victory back in October 2003 when the Proteas were adapting to life under Graeme Smith as their new captain.
In contrast, the Proteas pose a very impressive record with the red ball having won seven out of those 11 series. Three of them have subsequently ended in draws.
Two of those draws, however, came during the time Pakistan played their cricket in the United Arab Emirates.
In 2010, AB de Villiers broke the record for the highest individual Test score by a Proteas batsman when he made an unbeaten 278 in the first Dubai clash.
Former Proteas all-rounder Jacques still leads the way with the most runs in the 26 matches between the two countries since 1994.
Kallis faced Pakistan 19 times, scoring a total of 1,564 runs at an average of 53.93. In fact, the top four batsmen with the most runs in the fixture are all South Africans with Smith, Hashim Amla and De Villiers all enjoying frequent success.
In the bowling department, Dale Steyn has the best record with 59 wickets in the 13 times he played against Pakistan – an average of 23.28. Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini are next in line with the most wickets, while former spinner Danish Kaneria picked up the most scalps for the Pakistanis (36).
The two teams, though, have only faced each other once in the past seven years, making the predictability of the upcoming series even more difficult.
The last time they squared off, the Proteas thumped Pakistan 3-0 in South Africa, extending their exceptional record on home soil.
Also, the last time the teams played against each other in Pakistan was back in 2007 when Mark Boucher was still wicketkeeper.
The South Africans proved far too strong on that occasion, claiming a 1-0 series win. They would go on to become quite a force in Test cricket following that series, rising to the No 1 one team in the world.
Tuesday’s action is set to begin at 6:45am and will be broadcast live on SuperSport Cricket (212) and Grandstand (201).