Pakistan come into this historic Test series against South Africa under severe pressure but remain heavily favoured to claim a first-ever home series win over the Proteas.
Babar Azam returns to lead Pakistan and is the one player who is truly assured his place at the moment.
The skipper should also look to former Test captain Azhar Ali to provide a steadying influence in the top order.
Shaheen Afridi is one of the few frontline bowlers to enhance his reputation on the recent tour of New Zealand and he looks likely to take the new ball against South Africa.
Yasir Shah will be the dangerman South Africa are most familiar with but in Sajid Khan Pakistan may just have a secret weapon.
Pakistan squad: 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.
Dean Elgar and Faf du Plessis emerged as South Africa’s in-form batsmen during their Test series against Sri Lanka and the two will be required to put in a big shift in Pakistan.
Quinton de Kock continues as skipper despite the clear indication that he is not the man who will lead in the format in the long term.
Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje might find themselves as the only frontline seamers in the attack, but both have already proven they can thrive in all conditions.
South Africa have won their last four Tests against Pakistan and have never lost a Test series in the country.
South Africa squad: Quinton de Kock (capt), 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 – First Test – Match information
|National Stadium, Karachi|
|Series||South Africa tour of Pakistan – ICC World Test Championship|
|Match number||TEST No. 2406|
|Match days||26,27,28,29,30 January 2021 – day match (5-day match)|
Stream and TV details
Scheduled start of play: 07:00 (SAST) 26 January
Streaming and TV broadcast details: SuperSport Cricket – DStv Now