Ordinarily, a home series against Pakistan wouldn’t cause too many concerns.
But when you have one of the Proteas most successful former coaches in charge of the opposition, you sit up and take notice.
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur swaggered into his arrival press conference alongside captain Sarfraz Ahmed like a man who is living his best life.
He looked fresh, genuinely happy and really excited to take one a massive challenge against South Africa in the upcoming three-Test series.
Critics will tell you that Pakistan’s batting won’t stand up to the Proteas bowling in these conditions, but Arthur had a look in his eye last Friday that said he feels his team could make history by becoming the first Pakistan team to win a Test series on SA soil.
Among his many accomplishments in his first international assignment many years ago, Arthur was the first South African coach to win a series in Australia, another in England, and the Proteas rose to number one in Test cricket under his leadership.
If Pakistan’s batting click, if Yasir Shah continues to bag wickets like he has, and the quicks find their rhythm, the Proteas could have a proper battle on their hands.
I spoke to Arthur at the team’s arrival press conference last Friday and he shared some insights on his journey as a coach and his goals for this tour.
Photo 1 caption: Kass Naidoo caught up with Pakistan cricket coach, Mickey Arthur, on his team’s arrival in South Africa. Photo: Ryk Meiring
Photo 2 caption: Arthur and the Pakistani team arrived in South Africa well ahead of their three-match Test series against the Proteas, starting at Supersport Park in Centurion on Boxing Day. Photo: Ryk Meiring
Photo 3 caption: Former Proteas coach Arthur was accompanied by one of the most successful captains in Pakistan’s Test history, Sarfraz Ahmed. Photo: Ryk Meiring
Photo 4 caption: Arthur looked fresh, genuinely happy, and really excited to take one a massive challenge against South Africa in the upcoming Test series. Photo: Ryk Meiring