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Never Say Die! Pakistan | A review of the Pakistan-South Africa two-Test series

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Pakistan's clean sweep in the Test series against Proteas is a classic example of unpredictability and that is why cricket lovers here in Pakistan enjoy this game with madness full of excitement.

The pre-Test series rated by most of the gurus giving South Africa edge over Pakistan are dumb founded. They probably thought that after beating Sri Lanka at home, Proteas will continue their winning march on the Pakistani soil too. But here they were caught not in two minds but in many minds as the spinning duo of Yasir Shah and Test debutant Nauman Ali took the match away in Karachi and Hasan Ali and Shaheen Afridi pinned them with pace and reverse swing, in Rawalpindi.

In my view the present South African team is the shadow of the past with no one like Hashim Amla and A.B. deVilliers in the side and besides facing serious decline in the fielding standards for which they were rated as the best in the world, for the last two decades. Pakistan won the series chiefly on two accounts i.e. mixture of good fast and spin bowling and good batting by late middle order batsmen namely, wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf.

The recall of Fawad Alam in the middle over since 2020 summer in England and now the inclusion of neglected Nauman Ali, a slow left-arm spinner, also played a crucial part in strengthening Pakistan team in both batting and bowling departments. At least the new chief selector Mohammad Wasim has set a good example in picking players on merit.

Now the everlasting dilemma of finding a good opening .pair remain to be solved as Pakistan has not been able to find someone like Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail, who excelled back in the 1990s, as yet. This home series victory has brought in some lost confidence but one has to see how they perform on away series in different conditions and contrasting pitches. However, the beauty of this great game will always remain in our hearts despite winning or losing and that is why Pakistan "Never Say Die".

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