Former captain believes pitches will help batsmen
South Africa’s star batsman Faf du Plessis said that he is looking forward for the upcoming two-match Test series against Pakistan.
The Proteas are touring the South Asian country for the first time in more than 13 years where they are scheduled to play two Test and three T20Is
The former skipper, while speaking with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), said that he had not witness red-ball cricket played in the Asian country throughout his career.
“That is one thing I did not see happening in my time,” said the 36-year-old batsman. “I knew white-ball cricket was happening here, but I did not know that the red-ball cricket was going to happen this soon.
“I am looking forward to it and I hope that it is the same as it was 13 years ago – the wickets are flat so we the batters can score some runs. For Pakistan to have that back, there is going to be a lot of joy for the people.”
The Pretoria-born cricketer went on to say that the series will be an important occasion for the home fans as they will get the opportunity to watch their side play such a Test series against them in over a decade.
“It’s important for Pakistan to play in home conditions,” said Du Plessis. “They have been playing in the UAE for the last 11 years. So, their fans have never seen them play and that’s almost like a generation and that’s missed seeing them play.”
Sharing his experience of being part of the International Cricket Council’s World XI side which toured Pakistan back in 2017, the former Peshawar Zalmi batsman said that the fixtures laid the foundation of the return of international game back in the country.
“I think [the ICC World XI’s tour of Pakistan] was really important in the context of bringing cricket back into Pakistan,” he said. “There was zero cricket happening in Pakistan at that stage. That was the first step to bring any sort of cricket back and I think what they did really well at that stage.
“I was captaining that team so for me to go back into South Africa, and then speak of my experiences that I felt safe in Pakistan was a huge tip in where we are today.”
Du Plessis will be part of the two-match Test series against Babar Azam-led Pakistan side which gets underway on January 26 in Karachi.
The sides will then to Rawalpindi for the second and final Test on February 4.