Craig looking forward to Abu Dhabi challenge

New Zealand

New Zealand off-spinner Mark Craig admitted that the Kiwis will face an uphill task when they take on Pakistan in a Test series this month, but added that they are looking forward to the challenge of playing in foreign conditions.

New Zealand off-spinner Mark Craig admitted that the Kiwis will face an uphill task when they take on Pakistan in a Test series this month, but added that they are looking forward to the challenge of playing in foreign conditions.

The 27-year-old took eight wickets on debut against the West Indies earlier this year and is expected to be selected alongside leg-spinner Ish Sodhi for the first of three Tests against Pakistan, which starts in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

"The mood in the camp is pretty good and the boys are obviously looking at what's going to be a tough challenge," Craig told reporters on Friday.

"The good thing is that we have had probably 150 overs in the field in the warm-up game, so we have done plenty of bowling and the boys did well."

Craig added that he, in collaboration with Sodhi, can be more successful than their Australian counterparts Nathan Lyon and Steve O'Keefe, who struggled during the Aussies' 2-0 defeat in the United Arab Emirates recently.

"To be honest I did see that Pakistan series but only in bits and pieces. Obviously Australia struggled to take wickets and it's going to be hard (for us)," he added.

"It's important that we stick to our plan. Obviously there are a couple of good spinners with Ish and myself. Hopefully we can take some wickets and put a bit of pressure back on them.

"I am just happy to get a run and whatever way I can contribute to the team it will be great. It was another experience going to England with the 'A' team and bowling over there and getting accustomed to the wickets out there."

The second Test starts on Dubai on November 17, while the third takes place in Sharjah between November 26 and 30. Thereafter two Twenty20s and five One Day Internationals will take place.

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