The hosts Pakistan and the visitors South Africa will take on each other in the second and final game of the Test series from Thursday (4th February) at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium (Rawalpindi).
While this Test series is a part of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship, Pakistan are leading this series by 1-0 as they won the first Test by 7 wickets at Karachi.
Pakistan vs South Africa 2021, 2nd Test: Match Preview
The hosts Pakistan were under pressure in several periods of the opening Test of this series. However, the home players always showed the strong characters to bring back the hosts into the game in that Test match. While Pakistan need to draw this second Test match to secure this Test series, the confident hosts will target to win this upcoming Test match too.
Meanwhile, Pakistan openers, Abid Ali and debutant Imran Butt, struggled in both the innings of that Test match. Azhar Ali (51 & 31*) played two crucial knocks in the previous Test while captain Babar Azam scored the 30 runs in the fourth-innings chasing after getting out for just 7 in their first innings.
But the best batting performance from Pakistan in that Test match came from Fawad Alam, who scored the game-changing century (109) in their first innings. Also, Faheem Ashraf (64) and wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan (33) put some crucial contributions with their bats. The lower-order batsmen also played crucial roles to ensure 100+ first innings lead that helped the hosts to win that Test comfortably.
Babar Azam (C), Abid Ali, Imran Butt, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Saud Shakeel, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Yasir Shah, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Tabish Khan.
The visitors South Africa always had the chance to control the previous Test match, but they always failed to utilise those moments and those continuous mistakes costed their game. They must have to win the second Test to only save this Test series.
Openers Dean Elgar (58 & 29) and Aiden Markram (13 & 74) almost batted strongly in the previous Test match while other South African batsmen failed to capitalise their respective starts to the good scores in the first innings of that Test.
In their second innings, Rassie van der Dussen (64) played a good knock and set up the superb second wicket partnership with Markram to bring back South Africa in that game. But most of the other batsmen, except Temba Bavuma (40), failed to maintain that controlling situation in that third innings of that Test match. Faf du Plessis and captain Quinton de Kock both heavily disappointed with their bats in the previous Test.
South African pacers majorly dominated with the new balls, but they couldn’t control the game. Spinner Keshav Maharaj, who got a total of four wickets (3/90 & 1/12) in the first Test, is doubtful for the second Test due to some rib injury that he got during a training session.
Quinton de Kock (C), Temba Bavuma, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Rassie van der Dussen, Anrich Nortje, Wiaan Mulder, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks, Kyle Verreynne, Sarel Erwee, Keegan Petersen, Tabraiz Shamsi, George Linde, Daryn Dupavillon, Marco Jansen
Pakistan vs South Africa 2021, 2nd Test: Match Prediction
The hosts Pakistan are confident by leading this series by 1-0. They are favourite for this upcoming Test match but the South African team can put strong challenge if their players manage to play solid roles.