South Africa is gearing up for an exciting tour of Pakistan, as it prepares itself for a two-Test and three-match Twenty20 International series, to be played from January 26. The tour would be held with a minimal workforce, owing to the raging COVID-19 pandemic, that has shaken the world.

Meanwhile, the Proteas side has suffered a setback, as its performance analyst, Prasanna Agoram, who hails from India, has failed to travel with the side to Pakistan. The reason is not personal, but a technical one, as he has been denied a visa to the country.

Owing to India and Pakistan’s ongoing political tension, security protocols have denied Agoram from getting a valid travel visa for the latter. As a result, he would now work from his residence, in Bengaluru, with two laptops and high-speed internet, along with uninterrupted power supply.

Speaking on the same to The Indian Express, Agoram reckoned, “I am like a dead man walking. I will do my best from here, but yes, this is a big blow for me and for the players in the team who depend on me for the detailed analysis that’s best done from the ground. But, we need to understand the protocols in place. I have been told that Lalchand Rajput, former India player who coaches Zimbabwe, couldn’t travel to Pakistan, umpire Aleem Dar is unable to come for work to India and such. So, I am not the only person.”

ALSO READ: Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21, 4th Test- Here are the records scripted on Day 2

Speaking on how he would work from home, Agoram said, “Players who need face-to-face chats – the medium that they prefer- will have Zoom calls and such. Where I can take them through slides, if needed. Or just talk and share. I have a UPS with one-hour back-up. I am all set to do ball-by-ball analysis.”

A performance analyst’s job is to collect data, stats and numbers, and study it to develop a tactical plan. “Let’s say, the sweep shot. The best player of the sweep there has ever been is Pakistan’s Younis Khan. What I do is have his technique on a split frame on the left-hand side. I then compare and tell the batsmen what more they can do. They don’t have to do it like Younis, of course, as his method and physical traits are different, but to give an idea about how low they can get. What’s the ideal height and length to go for?” he explained.

On being asked about the series and Proteas’ chances against Pakistan, Agoram sounded optimistic. “We just beat Sri Lanka and also in Galle (2014), a place where even India hasn’t been able to (win of late). In Keshav Maharaj, we have one of the best finger spinners in the world. How many bowlers have taken nine wickets in an innings? Tabraiz Shamsi is coming along very nicely and George Linde, the left-arm spinner, is very talented. Our fast bowlers are known to the world; so are our batsmen who just did it again in Sri Lanka,” he concluded.