Rediff.com  » Cricket » De Kock-led Proteas touchdown in Karachi

De Kock-led Proteas touchdown in Karachi

Source: ANI
Last updated on: January 17, 2021 00:14 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

South Africa players arrive in Karachi on Saturday

IMAGE: South Africa players arrive in Karachi on Saturday. Photograph: Kind courtesy CSA/Twitter

The Proteas squad led by Quinton de Kock arrived here on Saturday to play two Tests and three T20Is for the first time in 14 years.

The two-match series between Pakistan and South Africa will start in Karachi from January 26 while the T20 series will begin from February 11.

"Touchdown Karachi! South Africa #Proteas #SeeUsOnThePitch," Cricket South Africa tweeted.

 

The Proteas squad has cleared COVID-19 tests before they left South Africa and will be further undergoing tests post arrival.

CSA on Friday said that Marco Jansen has replaced Ottniel Baartman, who has been ruled out "due to medical reasons of a separate nature."

Meanwhile, Aleem Dar will be officiating in his first-ever Test at home, while on-field umpire Ahsan Raza and match referee Mohammad Javed Malik will also make their Test debuts as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), on behalf of the International Cricket Council (ICC), on Saturday confirmed match officials for the Test series.

Elite panelist Aleem Dar has umpired in a record 132 Tests since making his debut in 2003 in Dhaka, while Ahsan part of the international panel has umpired in 37 ODIs and 57 T20Is to date. Javed Malik, a former first-class cricketer and a member of the ICC's international panel, has refereed in 10 ODIs and six T20Is.

Commenting on the appointment, Aleem Dar said: "It will definitely be an emotional moment for me to umpire in a Test involving Pakistan. It has been nearly a 17-year and 132-Test wait, but it's about to be over. Like the players, the match officials also want to umpire in matches on home ground, something we achieve in white-ball cricket, but Test cricket remains the pinnacle format and I am delighted that I will be standing in the two Tests between two excellent sides."

South Africa head coach Mark Boucher feels the Proteas have to come up with a proper game plan if they want to beat "dangerous" Pakistan in their own backyard.

Pakistan has hosted seven Test matches on their home soil in which the hosts have won one, lost two and four have remained drawn against South Africa. In the only Test match hosted at National Stadium in Karachi in October 2007, South Africa defeated Pakistan by 160 runs, becoming only the second team in history to beat Pakistan at the venue.

"Pakistan is a dangerous side at home; we will have to come up with a proper strategy to beat them at their own backyard," said Boucher in a release issued by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

"Pakistan bowlers will have home advantage, so this series will be a test for our batsmen, but once they are successful in occupying the crease, they will be able to score freely," he added.

Former wicket-keeper Boucher is banking upon the Proteas batsmen, who had a decent outing against Sri Lanka earlier this month. But the coach feels the fast bowlers will have to toil hard to get wickets on foreign soil.

"The wickets here in Pakistan are batting friendly, and we are relying on our batsmen to score runs. Their confidence will be high after scoring runs against Sri Lanka," said Boucher.

"Our fast bowlers will have to work very hard to get wickets. We are excited to play in Pakistan again, and expect a great series ahead with all focus on the game," he added.

Moeen back in England bubble after clearing COVID test

England all-rounder Moeen Ali on Saturday entered the team's bio-secure bubble here after clearing two COVID-19 tests, thus joining his mates after spending 13 days in quarantine.

Ali, 33, tested positive for COVID-19 with mild symptoms upon arrival in Sri Lanka and was isolated from the rest of the touring party.

He was originally expected to be in quarantine for 10 days, which was later extended by three days following the Sri Lankan government's reservations over the new UK strain of the deadly virus.

"It's great to have Mo (Ali) back," said Sam Curran after stumps on Day 3 of the ongoing opening Test.

"When we walked into the changing room (at tea) we saw Mo and there were smiles on everyone's faces. He's obviously had a really tough couple of weeks and no one wants to get into the situation he was in.

Thankfully he got through that OK. We're all really excited to have him back in the group to play cricket again, because we all know what an awesome player he is, and to be around.

"The guys are really happy. Hopefully it doesn't happen to anyone else, because no one wants to have players leaving the group and isolating for a couple of weeks," he added. 

We are working day and night to make sure we do go to South Africa: McDonald

Australia assistant coach Andrew McDonald on Saturday said that Cricket Australia (CA) is trying its best to go ahead with the scheduled Test series against South Africa.

According to the schedule for the World Test Championship, Tim Paine's side is meant to be facing the Proteas in three Tests in South Africa between February 14 and March 13 -- a key assignment leading up to the tournament final in England in mid-2021. But the problems during England's visit has made the trip increasingly problematic, ESPNcricinfo reported.

McDonald said one team will travel to South Africa and the other team will go to New Zealand to play the five-match T20I series, starting from February 22.

"We are expecting the tour to go ahead and we are planning our preparations with our quicks. A team going for South Africa for the Test series and a team going to New Zealand none of that changed at this stage. We are working day and night to make sure that we do go to South Africa. I think it is important for the world cricket that the show goes on," McDonald said in the virtual press-conference on Saturday.

England all-rounder Moeen Ali on Saturday entered the team's bio-secure bubble here after clearing two COVID-19 tests, thus joining his mates after spending 13 days in quarantine.

Ali, 33, tested positive for COVID-19 with mild symptoms upon arrival in Sri Lanka and was isolated from the rest of the touring party.

He was originally expected to be in quarantine for 10 days, which was later extended by three days following the Sri Lankan government's reservations over the new UK strain of the deadly virus.

"It's great to have Mo (Ali) back," said Sam Curran after stumps on Day 3 of the ongoing opening Test.

"When we walked into the changing room (at tea) we saw Mo and there were smiles on everyone's faces. He's obviously had a really tough couple of weeks and no one wants to get into the situation he was in.

Thankfully he got through that OK. We're all really excited to have him back in the group to play cricket again, because we all know what an awesome player he is, and to be around.

"The guys are really happy. Hopefully it doesn't happen to anyone else, because no one wants to have players leaving the group and isolating for a couple of weeks," he added.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Source: ANI
SHARE THIS STORYCOMMENT

Indian Premier League - 2021

Indian Premier League - 2021