Thursday Jan 21, 2021
KARACHI: Pakistan cricket team on Thursday kicked off its preparation for the first Test against South Africa at the National Stadium Karachi (NSK).
The 20-member squad trained for nearly five hours at the NSK as they aim to improve their position in the International Cricket Council's Test ranking. A 2-0 win against South Africa would help Pakistan jump from 7th to 5th position in the ranking.
Pakistan’s coaching staff — Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis, and Younis Khan — were joined by high-performance coaches Mohammad Yousuf and Saqlain Mushtaq at the training session to guide the players ahead of the two-match series.
The session started with usual training drills to warm up, followed by catching practice before intensified practice at the nets.
The players trained in three groups on the field, two nets dedicated for batsmen to do knocking while one net was transformed into a match scenario with wickets surrounded by slip fielders, wicket-keepers, and closed fielders to make it a virtual match scenario.
During the practice session, spin maestro Saqlain Mushtaq was seen working with spinners Yasir Shah, Sajid Khan, and Nauman Ali to help them learn the art to trap South African batsmen during the upcoming series.
Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf, separately, worked with batsmen to help them learn the art of staying on the wicket for longer.
Pakistan selectors are likely to trim the 20 member squad into 16 in the next two days. The first Test between South Africa and Pakistan is scheduled to begin on January 26 at National Stadium.