De Villiers targets strong response

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Wicketkeeper-batsman AB de Villiers has implored South Africa for a swift turnaround, ahead of the second and final Test against Pakistan, which will get underway in Dubai on Wednesday.

Wicketkeeper-batsman AB de Villiers has implored South Africa for a swift turnaround, ahead of the second and final Test against Pakistan, which will get underway in Dubai on Wednesday.

The Proteas lost the series opener by seven wickets inside four days, entirely outgunned by opposition considerably inferior in the International Cricket Council's rankings. Batsman Hashim Amla's century was, ostensibly, a lone highlight.

"We were one or two out of 10 in Abu Dhabi compared to the standard we set and we didn't play the big moments well. There aren't a lot of positives from the first Test so we need a lot of self-belief," said de Villiers.

"There is not a lot of time. You can't run around for a month and hope to get better. Technical changes can't happen but we need a fresh mindset. They did the damage by getting big wickets up front. And there were a couple of soft dismissals as well, including mine."

The South African order was particularly vulnerable against the height of fast bowler Mohammad Irfan and the turn and bounce extracted by spinner Saeed Ajmal. Debutant slow bowler Zulfiqar Babar, too, enjoyed success.

"We are finding ways to fix the problems and we are going to try and get it right in the second Test. We haven't played cricket like that in a long time. We know if we don't play to your full potential, there are teams that are going to beat us and if we do perform to our full potential we will come out on top," added de Villiers.

"We just didn't adapt quickly enough but there are no excuses at this level not to get used to things. We would have loved a series before this or maybe a few more warm-up games but the best teams in the world believe they are ready no matter what."

The inexperienced Dean Elgar is expected to replace Amla, who has returned home for the birth of his second child, for the series decider. Fast bowler Dale Steyn, meanwhile, is in doubt after sustaining a hamstring injury.

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