South Africa, who would be facing Pakistan for the first time in the sub-continent since 2007, reckoned that they have tried to prepare for everything in anything in these conditions. He also insisted that the bio-bubble is fatiguing but good composure and mental strength will help get past it.
Since the resumption of cricket, bio-bubble has become one of the most synonymous words with mental health and fatigue. For the South African players, who have been bio-bubble since the Indian Premier League in September, it has been a taxing last five months. However, on the cricketing front, they would enter the series on a high, after defeating Sri Lanka 2-0 in the series earlier at home.
This time around, though, they would have to tackle Pakistan at their own backyard. South Africa’s most experienced player and former skipper Faf du Plessis reckoned that the Proteas have prepared for everything and anything in Pakistan. He also stated that they have had a couple of practice sessions combined with a two-day intra-squad warm-up game in Pakistan.
“It was 13 years ago (South Africa’s last game in Pakistan), so you try not read too much into it. We've tried to prepare for everything and anything. I think the wickets will be a bit more like subcontinent wickets than they used to be, so the spinners will probably be more in the game," du Plessis said ahead of the series.
"The first and most important thing is that we're playing cricket, and we're very grateful to be able to do so. The four, five or six months [in the initial stages of the pandemic], when we weren’t able to play, wasn't great, like it would have been for anyone who couldn't work,” he added.
Faf also stressed the difficulty of being in the bio-bubble environment, where the players can’t meet their families. He also stated that it has been the utmost difficult adjustment for him in his cricketing career.
"The biggest challenge for me with bubble life is family life. I'm at a place in my career where time with my family is very important. What makes the bubble difficult is the fact that now our families can't travel with us. For the last three years that I've been playing international cricket, my family has travelled with me. So that's been the most difficult adjustment for me in this time.”
Yet the Saffer stated that it’s not impossible to spend time in the bio-bubble. However, he insisted that the players would have to do the right things to keep the mental being healthy and fit.
"I won't say it's impossible. It isn't. If you make sure you do the right things to keep your mind strong, it's fine. It's very doable. But in the long term, it could become challenging. The most difficult thing for me will be if we have to go directly from here into a new bubble.”