Pakistan vs South Africa, 2nd Test: MyTeam11 Fantasy Predictions, Preview, Probable XIs, Key Players

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Pakistan’s resurgence in the first innings of the first Test was scripted by Fawad Alam followed by Faheem Ashraf’s breezy 64. 35-year old Alam will be looking to make his mark after making a decadal comeback into Test cricket.

The awaited contest will be majorly between South Africa’s batting and Pakistan’s spin department. Yasir Shah and Nauman Ali dominated in the first Test and the batters will have to do ample homework to climb this tall obstacle of the Pakistani spin duo.

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We saw glimpses of form from Elgar, Markram and Van der Dussen in the first Test of the series. Their hunger for runs will have a vital role to play in the 2nd Test.

Pakistan are 1-0 up in the series and even a draw will seal the series for them, but I doubt they’ll be playing for a draw.

Probable XIs:

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Pakistan: Abid Ali, Imran Butt, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (c), Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan(wk), Faheem Ashraf, Yasir Shah, Hassan Ali, Nauman Ali, Shaheen Afridi.

South Africa: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Faf Du Plessis, Rassie Van der Dussen, Quinton de Cock (c & wk), Temba Bavuma, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi.

Players to look out for:

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Babar Azam: Given the honour of captaining his country for the first time in Test cricket in the last match, Azam had a sub-par outing by his own standards, posting scores of 7 and 30. In fairness to the 26-year-old, he was playing his first match since injuring his thumb in the nets in December last year. Nevertheless, he’ll be looking to leave his mark on his first Test series as captain and you would be brave to tip against him.

The right-hander averages 110.5 in Tests in Pakistan, with three centuries from four matches. He has barely put a foot wrong anywhere since the start of 2019 (991 runs at 61.93) and there was enough in his second-innings 30 in Karachi to suggest a big performance is not too far away.

Aiden Markram: Across his first 10 Tests, Aiden Markram averaged 55.55 but his form dipped after that first 12 months as an international cricketer. Across 13 Tests since mid-2018, he has averaged 26.95, with four scores above 50 and none passing 100.

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It’s a slide that coincided with his first tour of the subcontinent, in which he made just 40 runs across four innings in Sri Lanka. Things weren’t much better next time he came to Asia, averaging 11 in India where he fell for ducks in two of his four innings.

It would be fitting for Markram to reaffirm himself as one of cricket’s brightest young stars by dominating in Asian conditions in the second Test against Pakistan. Encouragingly for South Africa, Markram notched his first 50+ Test score on the continent in their second innings in Karachi, making a patient 74 off 304. He’ll be hoping to truly cash in at Rawalpindi if he gets himself set.

What they said:

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Pakistan captain, Babar Azam: “We have been telling the players to be confident. I don’t want them to take pressure after one innings wondering what will happen. You cannot be perfect. You will make mistakes… We want the players to believe in themselves and have confidence in their game.”

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South Africa captain, Quinton de Kock: “Our record in the sub-continent is not the greatest, but we have won a couple of series. It is just a matter of finding a way to win.”

Source: Media Release

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