The second test between New Zealand and Pakistan will get underway on 3rd January at Christchurch.
New Zealand had won the 1st test against Pakistan by 101 runs. Kane Williamson scored 128 runs, which proved crucial for New Zealand to score a big total in the first innings. With regular contributions for his national side both against West Indies and Pakistan, Williamson has become the number one batsman in ICC test rankings.
The New Zealand team had dominated the entire 1st test match and never looked like they were out of the game. The first innings score of 431 runs on a green-top wicket proved how good the Kiwis are at their own country.
Pakistan won’t be much disappointed with the effort they made to draw the first test match. They fought hard till the 3rd session of the 5th day but unfortunately turned out to be on the losing side. For the first time in 2020, a test match went till the fifth day on New Zealand soil as matches usually don’t go beyond four days in New Zealand.
Pakistan Team News:
Babar Azam’s addition to the 2nd test is in doubt as he has still not fully recovered from his injury. The medical team will make the final decision on his availability for the 2nd test. The board and team management don’t want to risk him as the home series against South Africa is lined up.
Opening pair has been a concern for most away teams in New Zealand. Abid Ali and Shan Masood have to survive the new ball for a longer duration to give extra cushion to the batters coming in the middle order.
Their pace bowling requires a change as experienced Sohail Khan could be the third pacer for the final test.
Pakistan Predicted XI
Abid Ali, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail / Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (Captain and Wicketkeeper), Faheem Ashraf, Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah / Sohail Khan, and Mohammad Abbas
New Zealand Team News:
New Zealand has been undefeatable at their home ground and is a confident unit with both bat and ball.
Matt Henry will replace the injured Neil Wagner. Wagner bowled 21 overs with fractured toes in the 2nd innings and played a crucial role in Kiwi’s victory.
New Zealand Predicted XI:
Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson (Captain), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (Wicketkeeper), Daryl Mitchell/Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Matt Henry, and Tim Southee
Pitch and Weather Conditions:
The pitch is usually green and sometimes it becomes difficult to differentiate between the pitch and the rest of the outfield. However, the pitch isn’t that tough for the batters to score runs. The initial one hour with the new ball is going to be crucial for both the batting and bowling side.
The weather will be cloudy with a humidity of 55% and a wind speed of 19 km/hr.
New Zealand will be desperate to win this test match to acquire the full 120 points and increase their chances for ICC Test Championship Final. Pakistan will be hopeful that Babar Azam returns for the 2nd test in order to fancy their chances to upset the Kiwi at their home.
Overall, it will be an exciting test to watch at the start of the new year and hopefully, may the best team win.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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