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Pakistan seek batting practice in South Africa tour game
Pakistan in South Africa

Pakistan seek batting practice in South Africa tour game

Pakistan's batsmen will seek form when they open their tour of South Africa with a three-day match against a South African Invitation XI at Willowmoore Park in Benoni Wednesday.

It is the only game for the tourists before the first of three Tests starts in Centurion on December 26.

Pakistan twice suffered fourth-innings batting collapses in losing a recent Test series against New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates.

Both captain Sarfraz Ahmed and coach Mickey Arthur acknowledged on arrival in South Africa that posting competitive totals was crucial if they are to match the hosts in what is shaping as a battle between two teams with strong bowling attacks.

With the warm-up match clashing with the resumption of South Africa's four-day franchise competition, the Invitation XI is drawn from the country's second-tier provincial competition.

Arthur, who coached South Africa from 2005 until 2010, told journalists he believed his young batsmen will cope better with conditions in South Africa than the low, slow pitches of the UAE.

"There are some very talented young batsmen there. They don't stand on leg stump anymore. Our batsmen get to off stump, they cover the bounce, they cover the pace and they cover the swing."

Even so, the Tests are likely to be a major challenge in a country where Pakistan have won only two Tests while losing nine on five tours.

South Africa's bowling will be spearheaded by Kagiso Rabada and fit-again Dale Steyn, although the hosts will be without the retired Morne Morkel and Lungi Ngidi, who has a long-term injury.

Vernon Philander has also been ruled out of the first Test because of a hairline fracture on his right thumb.

Pakistan have their own injury concerns, with fast bowler Mohammad Abbas and opening batsman Fakhar Zaman undergoing treatment in a bid to get them fit for the first Test.

Pakistan Test squad for South Africa tour

Sarfraz Ahmed (c/w), Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Yasir Shah

South Africa vs Pakistan 2018/19 Fixtures