Proteas won’t underestimate Pakistan

Pakistan’s unpredictability could again come to the fore when the two sides clash in the second test tomorrow, Proteas captain Graeme Smith has said.

“They are a team that is probably used to having two vastly different performances. We cannot underestimate the talent they have and their ability with the ball, and there is a lot of respect in our side for that,” he said.

“If there is one team that can bounce back from a performance like that, it is Pakistan. Morne (Morkel) is not too far off Mohammad Irfan. It’s going to be a unique experience and it’s difficult to re-enact those sorts of things, but out in the middle we have to face that challenge.”

The Newlands has had a reputation lately of being cranky at best and two of its last three test matches has witnessed two sub-50 scores by New Zealand and Australia.

Coming from Wanderers, where batting was hard work, Smith said the challenge was seeing off the new ball.

He said he had the team with the maturity to reap the rewards when the new ball was seen off.

“In South Africa with the new ball, it can be an extremely tough place to bat and you need to be able to do the hard work upfront to allow yourself to take the game away from people,” Smith said.

“Besides the top four, one thing the side has become really good at is recognising moments in games, the big days and making big impacts. Day two at the Wanderers was a big day, where we made a big impact. When the game has needed to be stepped up, we’ve found the extra bit.”

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