PREPARED: Zubayr Hamza. Photo: MUZI NTOMBELA/BACKPAGEPIX

If the Proteas want to whitewash Pakistan 3-0 in their Test series, their batsman will have to up their game.

And debutant hopeful Zubayr Hamza says if he gets the chance to play when the third and final clash gets underway this morning at the Wanderers, he will be up for the challenge.

The Cape Cobras top-order batsman is keen to get his opportunity with skipper Faf du Plessis suspended for the match and backs himself to step up to the required level.

During the series, Faf has been the only batsman to score a century and Hamza puts that down to the quality of the bowling attacks and testing wickets.

But the 23-year-old batsman feels that with respect and a positive attitude, he can do well at the crease.

SUSPENDED: Faf du Plessis. Photo: MUZI NTOMBELA/BACKPAGEPIX

He says: “Hopefully I’ve played enough [First Class] games to back myself at the next level. It’s been a good experience watching them [Pakistan] bowl.

“You can understand why they are playing international cricket and it hasn’t been easy for any of our batsman.

“I’m up for the challenge.”

Word in the Proteas camp is that Hamza has been earmarked as the long-term successor to No.3 Hashim Amla, but the Lansdowne laaitie may have to bide his time with the SA’s top run-scorer in the series, Temba Bavuma expected to move up the order.

BIG THREAT: Mohammad Amir. Photo: CHRSITIAAN KOTZE/BACKPAGEPIX

But after missing out on the Mzansi Super League, Hamza believes he has used that disappointment to hone his focus for the big time

The stylish stroke-maker adds: “The month off [from the MSL] gave me perspective and I focused on working on myself and on my game.

“Yes, I haven’t started off too well this season with franchise cricket but I don’t feel out of form.

“I still feel like I’m batting well and that I have a lot to offer. The runs and performances haven’t shown it but that is not how I feel, I have been batting well.

CHANGE: Temba Bavuma to move up the batting order. Photo: MUZI NTOMBELA/BACKPAGEPIX

“I have been training well with the world-class coaching staff that we have here, I have learnt a lot so far.”

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