Sharjah: A new-look Pakistan team comprising a bunch of spirited youngsters are ready to take on a resurgent South Africa in the five-match One-day series commencing on Wednesday at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul Haq and South African captain A.B. De Villiers unveiled the Cool and Cool Cup for which both teams will face off at venues in Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore put on a brave face despite his team’s innings and 92-run defeat in the second Test in Dubai and said that the new faces in the team were more than ready to take their opportunity. “The mood is pretty good. We’ve had a some good success with the white ball and also we have eight new faces joining us. We make them welcome and start the series knowing that the team is playing very well and our recent form is pretty good.”
Skipper Misbah too expressed confidence about the youngsters in his team and said that they had the experience to handle a strong side like South Africa. “These youngsters have been playing for the last two to three years now and are pretty experienced. Nasir Jamshed has played a lot of games and Ahmad Shahzad too has been playing regularly now. Umar Akmal is a regular member and he is now quite a bit senior and has won lots of games for Pakistan. So you can’t say they are new at international level.”
South African coach Russell Domingo is hoping to draw confidence from his team’s superb show in the second Test in Dubai. “It [One-day cricket] is completely a different format, but we will take a little bit of confidence from the Test win. Hopefully, we are now used to the conditions in the UAE and winning a Test here — and that too comprehensively — will definitely play a role.”
Domingo also wants to make sure that his side performs well in the One-dayers as his team failed to put up a good show against Sri Lanka. “We haven’t played well of late, especially in Sri Lanka, but we beat Pakistan in South Africa. So a bit of confidence from that and obviously from the last Test will help us.”