South Africans are one team who've shown that they can adjust to foreign conditions much faster than other nations, and that's the reason they're currently the numero uno side on ICC test rankings. Be it spin in sub-continent, swing in England, bounce in Australia or heat in Middle East which Proteas are about to face as they play Pakistan, a team that may be struggling these days and are down at number 6 on the charts but are so called home team..
Graeme Smith's bulky body has put him in wanted trouble often and he's once again making a comeback, this time after 6 months. He, though, remains the undisputed captain of South African side in the format, for his ability to navigate the troops. That said, this time Pakistan will be using left arm seamers with the new ball, a sure-shot chunk in Graeme Smith's armour. Can the opener adjust? we'll soon find out. Alviro Petersen will be his opening partner.
South African middle order looks solid as ever, but likes of Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers will have their task cut out negotiating spinners Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman. and then, there will be an ongoing debate over the no.6 spot for which there are three deserving names. JP Duminy had the position sealed before he got injured and Dean Elgar did nothing wrong. And then there's Faf du Plessis who's vice captain in shorter formats and deserves a longer run. Duminy can offer some offspin as well, which might push them ahead of other two rivals.
Cricket South Africa has been trying to cut down on AB de Villiers' workload, and hence have included Thami Tsolekile as the back-up wicket keeper.
South African bowling too is pretty strong, but head and humidity will test out their fast bowlers. Dale Steyn is slowly finding his rhythm while Morne Morkel may not find the bounce he depends on. Vernon Philander's swing will have little assistance at Dubai and Abu Dhabi but Rory Kleinveldt's pace might be an answer.
Robin Petersen and Imran Tahir are two good spinners in South African ranks these days, in that order.
|South Africa test squad for Pakistan series in UAE, October 2013.|
|Graeme Smith (c)
||Faf du Plessis
||Thami Tsolekile (wk)
|AB de Villiers (wk)