Proteas settle on two spinners, opt to bat in first Test

Proteas spinner Keshav Maharaj will be supported by fellow spinner George Linde in the first Test against Pakistan. Picture: Getty Images

The South Africans will look to Keshav Maharaj and George Linde to exploit a dry pitch, with the back-up to come from three quick bowlers.

South Africa captain Quinton de Kock won the toss and opted to bat in the first Test against Pakistan at the National stadium in Karachi on Tuesday.

South Africa entered the Test – their first in Pakistan in 14 years – with two spinners,  Keshav Maharaj and George Linde, to exploit a bare pitch which is expected to take spin.

Pakistan handed Test caps to 34-year-old left-arm spinner Nauman Ali and 25-year-old opener Imran Butt in a combination of three pacers and two spinners.

South Africa’s selectors were allegedly hoping to go into the Test with three spin bowlers, but Tabraiz Shamsi reportedly suffered a back spasm and was ruled out of the match on Tuesday morning.

ALSO READ: ‘Brave’ Proteas to back three spinners in first Pakistan Test?

His place was taken by Lungi Ngidi, who joined fellow quicks Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada, who missed the two-Test series with Sri Lanka over the festive season with injury, in the lineup.

Teams

Pakistan: Babar Azam (capt), Abid Ali, Imran Butt, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Rizwan, Nauman Ali, Yasir Shah, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi

South Africa: Quinton de Kock (capt), Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Temba Bavuma, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Rassie van der Dussen, Anrich Nortje, George Linde

Umpires: Aleem Dar (PAK) and Ahsan Raza (PAK)

Tv umpire: Asif Yaqoob (PAK)

Match referee: Mohammad Javed Malik (PAK)

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.





today in print