About the Match
After winning the crucial test series against Australia, Pakistan prepares to take on New Zealand in a 3-match test series, the first of which is scheduled to be held from 9th of Nov at Abu Dhabi. The Kiwis have recently suffered an ODI series defeat at home against the visiting South African team and will need to make amends here to come out stronger on the international cricket arena. Pakistan, which received a morale boost by defeating the Aussies, will look to strengthen its position as a balanced side comprising of strong performers with both bat and ball; it will be interesting to see the two teams strategizing to dominate the other right from the start of the month long series that has a T20 playoff and an ODI series too thereafter.
While Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson battle with injury and are likely to miss the first test, the Kiwis will try their best to come out all guns blazing and give a good show as against their terrible performance against the proteans back home. Led by Brendon McCullum, who has had a good run in the recent past, the team looks forward to capitalising on resources such as Ronchi, Rutherford, Ish Sodhi, Neesham and Watling provided they can learn to handle the Pakistani spin attack. On the bowling squad, they have experts like Tim Southee, Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell and all-rounder performers like Sodhi, Neesham and McCullum himself who can provide a lot of variety. While the Kiwis have a poor record against Pakistan in test cricket, having won the last test series against them in ’85, they will try to merge their talents and put up a strong fight in conditions that are sure to test their abilities.
Pakistan retains its winning combination of players for the upcoming series against New Zealand and will try to repeat their huge success against the Aussies just weeks back. This is their effort to bring in more stability into the new team that comprises of performers like Ahmed Shehzad, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Mohammad Talha, Sarfraz Ahmed, Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan and bowlers likeImran Khan, Zulfiqar Babar, Rahat Ali, Yasir Shah and Shan Masood. The players are pumped up about their chances here and will be determined to keep the winning momentum going. If they can focus on their strengths and learn to keep playing as a well-knit team like they did against the Aussies, this team can be a tough one to beat especially on home conditions.
The Pakistan contingent not only has the lethal weapon of spin bowlers and in-form batsmen that are sure to excel in the middle-east ground conditions, but also has the psychological advantage against the Kiwis after their historic win against Australia. While the match will definitely be a tough a contest for both teams, Pakistan looks better placed to emerge victorious in the opening match starting Sunday.
Pakistan, 1.83 @ Bet365