Karachi’s historic National Stadium will play host to the first Pakistan-South Africa Test on Pakistani soil in more than 13 years when play begins on Tuesday, 26 January. The National Stadium Karachi is considered Pakistan’s fortress of Test cricket but South Africa remains one of only two teams to have beaten the home side in the 42 matches hosted at the venue.
In 2007, South Africa won in National Stadium Karachi by 160 runs to take what turned out to be a decisive 1-0 lead in the last series to be played between the two teams in Pakistan.
Current Pakistan batting coach Younis Khan has fond memories of this venue. Younis Khan scored a century in the second innings while debutant spinner Abdur Rehman on debut picked up eight wickets in the match.
Former Pakistan players are looking forward to an exciting series with both teams possessing some world-class talent that promises to produce exciting cricket.
Younis Khan who scored 990 runs in 14 Tests against South Africa in a media interaction said: “After the Test tours by Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the tour of South Africa is a magnificent occasion indeed. National Stadium is my home ground and I have played here for a long time, the conditions and pitch will suit Pakistan but South Africa also have some quality players which makes for a competitive series.
Pakistan Batting coach Younas khan stated Karachi test as a great opportunity for young batsmen. He said “Young Pakistan players who will play Test cricket on home soil will have a lot to gain from this experience, they will learn the nuances of the longest format and their confidence will also grow.”
Mohammad Yousuf who in seven Tests against South Africa scored 357 runs said “South Africa’s trip is a big milestone for cricket in the country, Pakistanis love cricket and it is their greatest passion. There is a lot of interest in Test cricket and I have some very fond memories of playing Test cricket all over the country.
Comparing Pakistan and south Africa team squad Mohammad Yousaf said “South Africa possess experienced players but we have the advantage of playing at our home grounds. The Pakistan squad is well aware of the conditions at the National Stadium and even the new players inducted in the squad have rich experience of playing first-class cricket at the venue.”
Abdur Rehman said “South Africa playing again at the National Stadium has brought back some wonderful memories of my debut Test in 2007. For me performing against them in my debut Test was nothing short of a dream coming true.
The left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman stated Yasir shah a great bowler and kingpin of the Pakistan bowling attack.
Rehman said “Karachi pitch is good for spinners. Mohammad Nawaz, Nauman Ali and Sajid Khan have considerable first-class experience of bowling here. This trio knows well about conditions and with Yasir Shah, they can trouble South Africa’s batting lineup.