Second Test Preview: NZ v Pak
Pakistan were expected to struggle a little in New Zealand but the way they folded against the Black Caps attack on an admittedly green Hagley Oval pitch would have disappointed coach Mickey Arthur.
New Zealand on the other hand will be pleased to return home and return to winning after a long hard tour to India where they suffered a 3-0 whitewash in the Test series.
The tourists will have to find answers to their fragility against both short pitched bowling and a swinging ball as they brace for a Seddon Park wicket that is as green as the one they fell apart on in Christchurch and they will be without skipper Misbah-ul-Haq.
Misbah is suspended after the ICC sanctioned him for Pakistan’s slow over rate in the first Test banning him for one match.
Zimbabwe-born Colin de Grandhomme was a revelation for the Black Caps in the last Test and with Neil Wagner, Tim Southee and Trent Boult all looking good Pakistan could be in for a tough time in the second and final Test in Hamilton.
Jeet Raval impressed on his debut as he replaced the out of sorts Martin Guptill in Christchurch and his presence lends the Black Caps batting a more solid look although they are set for another tough examination against a quality Pakistan pace attack.
The Black Caps have Mitchell Santner fit again as well and his ability with bat and ball can only strengthen the case for the hosts to sweep the series.
Ross Taylor has been passed fit to play despite needing an operation on his injured eye.
The impact of Kane Williamson simply cannot be overstated, he is possibly the best New Zealand top-order batsmen since Martin Crowe and without him the batting would look decidedly thin.
It’s hard to pick just one key bowler for New Zealand but Trent Boult is world class in any conditions let alone on a green top and is the leader of this attack.
Without Misbah Pakistan will lean heavily on the experience and quality of Younus Khan in the middle order and will be looking to ODI captain Azhar Ali to step up after his triple hundred against the West Indies earlier this season.
Rahat Ali was the best of the Pakistan bowlers in the first Test and has proved more consistent than the star name Mohammad Amir, this surface should play to the left-arm seamers strengths but Pakistan will need to be more disciplined than they were in the first outing.
Last Five Head-To-Head Results
2016 First Test: New Zealand won by 8 Wickets in Christchurch
2014 Third Test: New Zealand won by an innings and 80 runs in Sharjah
2014 Second Test: Drawn Test in Dubai
2014 First Test: Pakistan won by 248 runs in Abu Dhabi
2011 Second Test: Drawn Test in Wellington
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Jeet Raval, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling
Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Azhar Ali, Sami Aslam, Sharjeel Khan, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Mohammad Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Rahat Ali, Sohail Khan, Imran Khan
Dates: 25-29 November 2016
Morning session: 10:30-12:30 (21:30-23:30 GMT -d)
Afternoon session: 13:10-15:10 (00:10-02:10 GMT)
Evening session: 15:30-17:30 (02:30-04:30 GMT)
On-field umpires: Sundaram Ravi and Simon Fry
Third umpire: Ian Gould
Match referee: Richie Richardson
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