South Africa set to be missing Dale Steyn and Hashim Amla against Pakistan
South Africa are likely to be without Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn for this week's second Test against Pakistan.
Last Updated: 23/10/13 6:57am
Amla, the world's top-ranked Test batsman, has already been ruled out as he is still at home awaiting the birth of his second child and has no chance to return to the UAE in time for Wednesday's start.
The Proteas' hopes of squaring the series took a further blow when world No 1 bowler Steyn pulled up with a hamstring strain during training on Monday.
The pace spearhead will be assessed ahead of the game, with Rory Kleinveldt standing by to start if Steyn fails a fitness Test.
Left-handed batsman Dean Elgar is set to replace Amla, while Pakistan born leg-spinner Imran Tahir is likely to start in place of Robin Peterson, who failed to take a wicket in the opener.
Captain Graeme Smith remains confident that South Africa can claim a share of the series despite the prospect of being without the likes of Amla and Steyn.
"We haven't been in this position too often," said Smith. "And with the standards that we set ourselves, we should have the ability to bounce back.
"The motivation is there. We are really motivated to win the next Test match. That's got to be our ultimate goal. We have to focus on making sure our plans are better."
Pakistan are expected to field the same side that recorded an impressive seven-wicket victory in Abu Dhabi, where spinners Saeed Ajmal and Zulfiqar Babar shared 11 wickets and Khurram Manzoor cracked a superb 146, the best Test score by a Pakistan batsman against the Proteas.
"We are really playing the top side in the world, so our focus is on the next game," said captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who also compiled a century in the first Test.
"I don't think so we have given clear indications to the groundsman. We want a result, no doubt we want to exploit our home advantage and we will do that, but we want a result.
"Whenever you have negative thoughts in your mind it won't give you good results. We are positive about that, we want a result no matter whatever happens, if we win or lose, it doesn't matter."