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Sports

January 21, 2021

Pakistan's Test squad starts practice at National Stadium Karachi

Sports

Thu, Jan 21, 2021
Pakistan's captain Babar Azam (left) attempts to catch the ball as another player looks on during a practice session at the National Stadium Karachi ahead of the first Test against South Africa, on January 21, 2021. — PCB

KARACHI: Pakistan's Test squad has stated its preparation for the first match against South Africa at the National Stadium Karachi (NSK).

The 20-member squad, on Thursday, 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, with 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.

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 master taying 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.

Babar Azam hits a shot during a practice session at the National Stadium Karachi ahead of the first Test against South Africa, on January 21, 2021. — PCB
Tabish Khan bowls during during a practice session at the National Stadium Karachi ahead of the first Test against South Africa, on January 21, 2021. — PCB
Players can be seen playing a practice match during a practice session at the National Stadium Karachi ahead of the first Test against South Africa, on January 21, 2021. — PCB
Azhar Ali can be seen warming up during a practice session at the National Stadium Karachi ahead of the first Test against South Africa, on January 21, 2021. — PCB
Players can be seen playing a practice match during a practice session at the National Stadium Karachi ahead of the first Test against South Africa, on January 21, 2021. — PCB
Shaheen Shah Afridi bowls during a practice session at the National Stadium Karachi ahead of the first Test against South Africa, on January 21, 2021. — PCB