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Pakistan vs South Africa 1st Test Preview

24 Jan 2021
Ramesh Jegatheeswaran 24 Jan 2021
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  • Pakistan vs South Africa predictions for the 1st Test match
  • Babar Azam has scored 100+ runs in 3 of his last 4 innings in Pakistan
  • Full match preview and predictions
Babar Azam Test cricket
Babar Azam has scored 100+ runs in 3 of his last 4 Test innings' on home soil (Getty Images)

Pakistan Form

Pakistan have lost three and drawn two of their last five Test matches. Three of those matches were against England away and two against New Zealand away.

Pakistan will be far more comfortable in home conditions so results are expected to improve. Test cricket only returned to Pakistan in 2019 after a 12 year absence from the country.

In their last match, Pakistan lost by an innings and 176 runs to New Zealand in Christchurch.  Batting first Pakistan scored 297 with Azhar Ali top scoring on 93 runs. New Zealand responded with a huge 659 runs.

Pakistan were then dismissed for 186 in their second innings as no batsmen managed to pass the 50 run mark.

Pakistan Team News

Captain, Babar Azam missed both matches in New Zealand through injury but returns for this series.

Conditions will determine what the bowling lineup looks like but unlike on their tours to New Zealand and England, Pakistan are expected to play two or three spinners.

South Africa Form

South Africa have only played two Test matches since lockdown began in March 2020. That was a recent home series against Sri Lanka, which the Proteas won 2-0.

The 2nd Test took place at the Wanderers where Anrich Nortje took 6-56 to dismiss Sri Lanka for 157 runs. Dean Elgar’s 127 runs got South Africa to a total of 302.

Sri Lanka managed 211 in their second innings, leaving South Africa to score 66 for victory. The hosts did that without losing a wicket.

The issue for South Africa is their continuous struggles in the sub-continent. They have a very inexperienced team at the moment which could cause major issues on spinning pitches.

South Africa Team News

South Africa don’t have much experience of sub-continent conditions and not one player in the squad has played Test cricket in Pakistan before.

Kagiso Rabada will almost certainly return to the starting lineup after recovering from injury. Lutho Sipamla is likely to miss out.

The rest of the bowling lineup will be interesting. Keshav Maharaj will start as first choice spinner but there will need to be a second option. That is likely to be Tabraiz Shamsi while George Linda could offer a third spin bowling option.

Head to Head

South Africa have won four of their last five Test matches against Pakistan. The last match ended in a 107-run win for South Africa in January 2019.

These two teams have not played in Pakistan for 13 years.


Pakistan have won two of their last three at home at South Africa generally struggle on turning wickets. I'm backing Pakistan to win with Babar Azam to continue his superb home form.

For South Africa, Dean Elgar is in very good form and opening the batting is the easiest time to score runs. He is tipped to be South Africa's top scorer in the first innings.

  • Pakistan’s Babar Azam has scored 50+ runs in 6 of his last 9 Test innings’.
  • Pakistan’s Babar Azam has scored 100, 60, 102 & 143 runs in his last 4 Test innings’ at home.
  • Pakistan have won 2 of their last 3 matches at home.
  • South Africa’s Dean Elgar 127, 31 & 95 runs in his last 3 Test matches.

Pakistan vs South Africa FAQ

What is the Pakistan vs South Africa best bet?

Pakistan have won two of their last three home Test matches. The best bet for this match is for Pakistan to come away with victory.

Where can I watch the Pakistan vs South Africa live stream?

Our live streaming calendar shows you where to watch the Pakistan vs South Africa live stream.