Pakistan won’t underestimate the Proteas – Misbah

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Pakistan coach Misbah-ul-Haq believes his side are favourites for their upcoming World Test Championship series against South Africa but remains wary of the threat posed by the Proteas.

South Africa and Pakistan shared both the Test series they played against each other in the UAE (in 2010 and 2013). While Misbah believes the home series is a great chance for his team improve their recent record against the Proteas, who have won seven of their last eight Tests against Pakistan, he says they will not be pushovers.

Misbah says Pakistan won’t take Proteas lightly

Neither side are in contention for the WTC final at Lord’s later this year, but both are keen to improve their standing on the table with South Africa fifth and Pakistan behind them in sixth.

“South Africa has never been an easy side to beat, but them playing after 13 years in Pakistan will be an advantage for us, and we have a great chance to improve our record against them,” Misbah said in a release issued by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

“The two Test matches in the ICC World Championship are very important for us and we will try to get maximum points out of it to improve our position on the table,” he added.

Misbah is upbeat about his team’s chances and has backed the fresh blood brought into the squad to inject some desire into the Pakistan effort. Pakistan axed five players who played in the second Test against New Zealand from their squad to face the Proteas and called up nine uncapped players.

Pakistan were soundly beaten in their series against New Zealand with key players failing to come to the party but start their series against the Proteas as heavy favourites given the tourists poor record in Asia of late.

“Playing at home ground is always encouraging for the players, and it reflected in our performances in the series against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh last year,” Misbah said.

“The series against South Africa is an important one, and I am sure the players selected in the squad have the potential and hunger to give best results in the series,” he added.

The first Test between Pakistan and South Africa gets underway at the National Stadium in Karachi on 26 January, once concluded the combatants will repair to Rawalpindi where the second Test will commence on 4 February. The Test series will be followed by three T20Is all played at the Gadaffi Stadium in Lahore.

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