About the Match
New Zealand made a resounding comeback in the test series by managing a draw in the second test against Pakistan which has already won the first test convincingly to take a 1-0 lead; the two sides will face each other for the third and final test match at Sharjah that starts on 26th Nov. With this being the decider match, both teams will bring out their best ammunition to dominate the other; it will be interesting to see how this match pans out after a tough contest in the previous encounter.
Daniel Vettori’s inclusion in the squad has drawn a lot of attraction especially since the specialist spinner hasn’t featured in test matches for over two years; the team will be inspired to do well after their recent efforts, which yielded a draw. Bowlers like Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Anderson will lead the pace attack whereas Vettori with his famed left-arm spin along with the promising Ish Sodhi, who claimed 2 wickets in the first innings of the previous match, will bring variety to the attack. Mark Craig and other inexperienced youngsters need to be guided well when going up against the hard-hitting Pakistani batsmen; McCullum put in an all-round effort with bat and ball and will need to strategize well in the upcoming match. The team has good batsmen in Ross Taylor, who scored a well-made century in the 2nd innings of the last test and Tom Latham, who performed excellently in the first innings with his superb knock of 137 off 269 balls. The others like Neesham, Williamson and Anderson need to pull up their socks and provide stability in the middle order if they want to post a good total. Overall, the team has good talent and experience on its side; they need to bring out their best and make an impact here.
With Shehzad out of the test series due to injury, the top order needs to be strengthened; Taufeeq Umar and Shan Masood need to shoulder the responsibility of providing a solid innings right from the start else they might run into trouble yet again as witnessed in the second test. The experienced Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq along with others like Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed, who posted a brilliant 112 off 195 deliveries will be strong assets in the middle order and they need to play as a well-knit unit in achieving a target or setting one. On the bowling front, Zulfiqar Babar was astounding with his 8-wicket haul in the 2nd test; Yasir Shah is another performer, who claimed 7 wickets in total during the previous match, together the duo can be ruthless against the struggling Kiwi batsmen. Ehsan Adil, Rahat Ali and Azhar Ali did well in the first innings and need to perform well here too to make up for the absence of senior players; they have the necessary advantage against the Kiwis and need to convert it into victory yet again.
Pakistan has the specialist bowlers who can deliver against the visitors with great impact; on the other hand the Kiwi bowling attack is also being strengthened for the upcoming contest, which is surely going to test the hosts in a tougher way. While Pakistan has the lead and are looking good to conquer again, New Zealand with its advantage of experience and expertise definitely look well placed to emerge victorious here and level the series.
New Zealand, 7.50 @ Bet365