Pakistan ready for South Africa challenge despite lack of Test cricket: Hafeez

Karachi: Pakistan Twenty20 captain Mohammed Hafeez has said he is confident that Pakistan`s lack of Test cricket will not be a problem when the team meets world number one South Africa next month.

Pakistan will play their first Test series in seven months in South Africa with the first of three matches starting in Johannesburg from February 1. Pakistan will also play two Twenty20 internationals and five one-day matches on the tour.

Pakistan routed England, then the world`s number one Test team, 3-0 last January before losing 1-0 against Sri Lanka in June.

Hafeez admitted South Africa pose a big challenge, but said that all the players have played four-day game and are well prepared, adding that the team was buoyed by its recent one-day win over arch rivals India.

Hafeez said Pakistan have a balanced bowling attack in both pace and spin. He said Pakistan`s spin attack is well reputed, with off-spinner Saeed Ajmal and left-armer Abdur Rehman.

But Hafeez stressed Pakistan needed to play more Tests. He said Test cricket produces good-quality cricketers, like Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq. If Pakistan only plays six Tests in a year, then it will get tougher, he added.