Pakistan will look for turn of fortunes when they play South Africa in the first Test at the Dubai International Stadium on Friday, November 12.
They lost both the T20 internationals and then lost the ODI series 3-2. They would be looking for a reversal of fortunes both on and off the field following the revelations of former wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider.>
The wicket keeper batsmen fled UAE to England before the fifth ODI between the two sides. He then revealed that he had received death threats from unnamed individuals for refusing to co operate with them in fixing matches. This has come out when Pakistan seemed to have come out of the scandal during the England series. >
The only alternative for the Pakistan team is to concentrate on the cricket on the field and leave the rest to the administrators. They have a new captain in Misbah Ul Haq who will be keen to show his leadership skills. They have a couple of new faces in the squad in Adnan Akmal and Mohammed Hafeez.
The departure of Haider has opened the doors for Adnan, who was kept out of the team by his brother Kamran Akmal. Mohammed Hafeez has been granted a place in the Test squad following his performances in the recently concluded ODI series.
Hafeez made 203 runs, the highest by a Pakistan batsman, and also chipped in with some wickets with his off spinners.
South Africa will be riding high after their series win and will see this as ideal preparation for their series against India at home. They are currently second in the ICC Test rankings and a series win here will help them considerably close the gap on India, who are in top spot.
Hashim Amla has been in extraordinary form this season and has scored runs in almost all the games he has played. Dale Steyn has returned to fitness and will be a key in this game. He will want to reestablish his partnership with Morne Morkel and once again become a feared new ball pair.
South Africa are the favorites in this game and will look to attack a weak Pakistani bowling line up. Pakistan need to be at their top form to stop a very strong looking South African side.