South Africa aim to carry test form into ODIs

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LAHORE, Oct 17 (Reuters) South Africa are confident of carrying their test form into the five-match one-day series against Pakistan starting at Lahore's Gaddafi stadium tomorrow.

Having won the two-match test series 1-0, skipper Graeme Smith and his men will be looking forward to maintaining a tradition of impressive one-day performances in Pakistan.

South Africa won a one-day series against the hosts in 2003 and also triumphed in a Golden Jubilee four-nation event in 1997, beating Sri Lanka in the final.

''Planning is going to be key in this series as we have a tough task ahead of us,'' South Africa coach Mickey Arthur told reporters.

''If we execute our plans like we did in the tests, we could win this series as well.'' Arthur said his team was expecting a tough fight from Pakistan as they had done well in recent one-day contests.

''But I am confident because we have a good mix of experience and youth and most of the guys are in good shape,'' he added.

''The pitches will be the same so we should carry the momentum of the tests forward.'' Noting that South Africa were second in the one-day rankings, Arthur said the side needed to keep winning to challenge Australia for the top spot.

FITNESS CONCERN Veteran all rounder Shaun Pollock is set to return for the first match after being dropped for the tests.

''He is an accomplished performer and we are backing him completely,'' Arthur said.

South Africa's only fitness concern is fast bowler Vernon Philander, who replaced Morne Morkel in the touring squad during the tests.

Philander had a hamstring strain that covered a large area of the muscle, team physiotherapist Shane Jabaar said, adding that it would be a ''tight call'' for him to make tomorrow's game.

Pakistan also await news on paceman Mohammad Asif, who is struggling with an elbow problem.

''It is a touch-and-go situation with him. He has trained but only he can tell us if he is 100 percent fit for the first match,'' team manager Talat Ali said.

The home side's batting will be bolstered by the return of the experienced Mohammad Yousuf, who was not selected for last month's Twenty20 World Cup where Pakistan finished second.

Squads: South Africa - Graeme Smith (captain), Justin Kemp, Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Jean-Paul Duminy, Mark Boucher, Shaun Pollock, Vernon Philander, Albie Morkel, Johan Botha, Makhaya Ntini, Charl Langeveldt, Andre Nel.

Pakistan - Shoaib Malik (captain), Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi, Salman Butt, Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Nazir, Kamran Akmal, Misbah-ul Haq, Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, Rao Iftikhar, Yasir Hameed, Abdul Rehman, Sohail Tanvir.

Reuters AB DB1251

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