South Africa’s premier all-rounder, Jacques Kallis, is not too fazed by the prospect of facing Mohammad Irfan in the upcoming Test series against Pakistan and claims that the hosts are used to facing bowlers of tremendous height.
The three-match Test series begins from Friday at Johannesburg and will be followed by two T20s and five One Day Internationals (ODIs). Most cricket pundits are keenly waiting for the forthcoming battle, although the home team are going to start the series as firm favourites.
Historically, the Asian teams have struggled to deliver the goods on hard and bouncy tracks in South Africa. However, Pakistan are likely to give South Africa a run for their money because of an extremely talented bowling attack.
Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal are likely to lead the attack in South Africa, being the two most experienced bowlers. However, Pakistan’s trump cards remain the two inexperienced left-arm fast bowlers, Junaid Khan and Mohammad Irfan. The duo did a brilliant job in the recently-finished limited-over series in India and impressed one and all with their ability to trouble the batsmen with the new ball.
Irfan possesses an extra-ordinary height and is expected to extract maximum bounce from the South African pitches. Kallis however, expressed that his side have played bowlers of similar height and will get used to playing the lanky pacer as the series progresses.
“Morne Morkel is not too much shorter than that so we are used to facing quite a bit of bounce. It will be slightly different but nothing we haven’t seen before,” Kallis said. “There is so much video analysis around. I suppose it takes a few balls to get used to facing them but once you’ve seen them on video, you get an idea.”
Kallis, who is considered to be one of the finest all-rounders in the history of the game, understands that Pakistan are a talented team but feels that South Africa holds the advantage because of the playing conditions.
“I’ve always felt that in South African conditions, it’s usually the guys that are not necessarily quick but quite accurate who do well. Vernon is an example of that,” he added.