Johannesburg – Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq says Proteas fast bowler Vernon Philander will be one of the South African players to watch out for in their Test series next month.
Philander was included in the Proteas squad for the series after missing out in the second Test against New Zealand with a hamstring injury.
“I think the way Philander is bowling is really taking so many wickets,” Misbah said on Monday after the Pakistani squad arrived in Johannesburg at the weekend.
“He's really a factor with the new ball and swinging the ball and hitting the seam.
“I think the best way is just to stick to your basics and just go there and try and see off these sort of bowlers, and then just capitalise.
“In Test cricket you need to do your basics right. If the bowler is bowling well or that batsman is batting well, you just have to stick to your basics in how you tackle someone.”
Pakistan are fourth in the ICC Test rankings, and should present a tougher challenge than the Black Caps team that lost by innings in each of their Tests agains the number one-ranked Proteas unit.
Misbah said he knew his team would have their work cut out against the hosts, who would be strong favourites to clinch the series.
“With the likes of (Hashim) Amla, Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith, they've got everything in their batting lineup.
“Then they've got quality bowlers like (Dale) Steyn, (Morne) Morkel and Philander. They are really a good side and we have to play well against them to put some sort of game on.
“I think this Pakistani team, with a lot of young players in the team, they are really performing well. One point is they love to take on challenges and we are here in South African conditions.
“We know they are a very good side, very good bowling attack, but I think this is a time where we can come with good performances.”
Misbah said his side would be keen to prove themselves against the top rated outfit in Test cricket.
“This team has really done well for the last two-and-half years. It's really a big challenge for us to come here to play the number one team in the world, and especially in their conditions, it's really tough.
“This Pakistan team are ready to take challenges. They have proved that in the last two years, so I think this will really be a test and we really want to play well in South Africa.” –Sapa