Skipper Graeme Smith, back in the national squad after recovering from a long-term ankle injury and subsequent surgery, said on Friday he felt no pressure, despite preparing to lead the top-ranked Test side in the world.
“We need to create something special as a team and pull together as a unit, but for me personally there is no pressure as the number one Test team,” he said before the squad departed from OR Tambo International.
Head coach Russell Domingo, an assistant to former coach Gary Kirsten, said they would try and maintain some stability to the Test outfit, unbeaten on the road in seven years.
“It’s very exciting for me, but it’s a different thing retaining that number one spot as it is getting it,” Domingo said. “We want to win, and the Test side has played a good brand of cricket for a while, so hopefully we can maintain that.”
Newly appointed Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat was confident they would hold their own in all formats on the tour, and the limited overs squad would be able to continue their rebuilding phase.
“I know Russell has plans on how to develop the ODI team, and that’s one area where we would like to see them closing the gap,” Lorgat said. “It’s a process I’m convinced that Russell has carefully planned and he’s working towards.
“We will give the team all the support they need and we would like South Africans to support them throughout the good and bad. “This is a team we can be proud of.”
Team manager Mohammed Moosajee said Hashim Amla might miss the second Test due to the birth of his child, but the Test and limited overs squads were fully fit.
South Africa will face Pakistan in two Tests, five ODIs and two T20 matches.