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Pakistan Announce 17-man Squad for First Test Against South Africa

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Sunday (January 24) announced the 17-man squad for the first Test against South Africa that will begin on Tuesday.

Pakistan Announce 17-man Squad for First Test Against South Africa

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Sunday (January 24) announced the 17-man squad for the first Test against South Africa that will begin on Tuesday. 20 players had been training ahead of the first match in a two-game series and that means that Abdullah Shafique, Kamran Ghulam and Agha Salman will not be considered for selection for the first Test. However, they will continue to train with the side at the National Stadium in Karachi.

This is the first time that South Africa are touring the nation since 2007. Previously Zimbabwe have also toured the country in November 2020 but as a whole, international cricket had come to a standstill in the nation with teams refusing to tour in the aftermath of a terrorist attack in Lahore.

The South African team practiced at the National Stadium — the venue for the test opener — for the first time on Saturday. Before that, the visitors had been practicing at a stadium close to the team hotel for the last four days where they played intra-squad matches.

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Meanwhile South Africa captain u Plessis has picked fit-again Pakistan all-format captain Babar Azam and fast bowler Shaheen Afridi as the two players who could pose problems for the tourists.

Babar has regained fitness from a fractured thumb in his absence Pakistan lost both the Twenty20 and test series in New Zealand.

"Obviously, having Babar back is massive for them," du Plessis said. "Afridi has been getting a lot of wickets, so probably someone like him would be pretty dangerous."

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, cricketers have to adhere to strict procedures for an international series. In countries like Pakistan, international games are being played in empty stadiums and players’ movement confined to just their hotel and stadiums.

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Du Plessis is one of those South African cricketers, along with captain Quinton de Kock, to have experienced life in a bubble over the last few months. He played in the Indian Premier League in the United Arab Emirates and home series against Sri Lanka. Now he has a two-test series in Pakistan, starting Tuesday in Karachi, followed by the second test at Rawalpindi.

Pakistan squad: Abid Ali, Imran Butt, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (captain), Fawad Alam, Saud Shakeel, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain), Sarfaraz Ahmed, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Yasir Shah, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Tabish Khan.



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
FULL Ranking