Former Pakistan captain and its current head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has said that compared to Test cricket, it is easier to acclimatize to South African conditions as far as white-ball cricket is concerned.
The Babar Azam-led Pakistan Cricket Team is all set to lock horns with South Africa in a three-match ODI series which will be followed by a four-match T20I rubber.
Pakistan may have struggled in South Africa in the longest format of the game but that has not been the case in ODI cricket.
Since January 2010, Pakistan has won six out of their 13 encounters against South Africa in the rainbow nation which also included a series-win in 2013-14- the first bilateral series win by any Asian team across formats in South Africa.
The presence of quality fast bowlers is one of the major reasons behind Pakistan’s success in South Africa, reckoned Misbah-ul-Haq.
“I think especially with white-ball cricket, the pitches are very good, they’re true pitches, with good bounce and pace and for batters. In white-ball cricket, it is easier to adjust to these conditions and you get good value for shots. Obviously, Pakistan has also always had the luxury of good fast bowlers. That is the reason Pakistan has done well here,” Misbah-ul-Haq told ESPNCricinfo.
“In 2013-14, when we were here, we had Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, then we had youngsters like Bilawal Bhatti and a couple of others. That is the reason why Pakistan likes playing here. No doubt South Africa are very good, they know their conditions well. But I think these conditions help Pakistan as a whole, the batsmen especially. And obviously, there’s something psychological as well, when a team has done well here before, it helps moving forward as well to perform,” he added.
Misbah also added that batsmen always enjoy the pace that South African wickets offer and also the fact that one gets full value for their shots.
A plethora of Pakistani batsmen like Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Imam-ul-Haq have had the experience of playing on such wickets and it will hold them in good stead in the upcoming series.
“As a batsman you enjoy that, you get full value for your shots. Previously, in this team, some of the players have played here and performed — Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman was here. These players love that pace and bounce, now Mohammad Rizwan is in form, a very good backfoot player. Those previous series and experiences definitely count, they play a role in your confidence as a player and team. When I was playing, suddenly, you just went to a ground where you’ve performed and your confidence level was always different.” Misbah-ul-Haq added.
The first ODI between Pakistan and South Africa will take place on April 02 at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.