On Sunday (3rd January) morning, the hosts New Zealand will take on the visitors Pakistan at Hagley Oval (Christchurch) in the second or final game of the two-match Test series.
While this Test series is the part of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship, the home team New Zealand is leading this series by 1-0. Mount Maunganui hosted the first Test of this series where the hosts won by 101 runs.
New Zealand vs Pakistan, 2nd Test: Match Preview
The hosts New Zealand will miss injured Neil Wagner for this upcoming Test match. In the previous game, Wagner’s fourth and fifth toes of his right foot got fractured. Though he continued that game, he is now going through the recovery process, which will take around six weeks. Matt Henry has replaced him for this match.
The hosts New Zealand are in great form. While they are currently running with the five-match Test winning streak, their joint record, they are unbeaten in the home Tests since March 2017.
Captain Kane Williamson is in great form with the bat. In his last seven innings, Williamson scored one Test double century and one Test century along with three T20 half-centuries. In the last game, Ross Taylor (70 & 12*) had good experience with the bat, which is the more good news for Blackcaps. All the other regular batsmen have also shown good batting performances during the 1st Test of this series.
Meanwhile, they have talented bowlers – Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson and Mitchell Santner. All these players are in good form with the ball in hand.
A draw will be enough for the Blackcaps to ensure this series. However, the hosts will definitely target to win this match which can help them to create a new record in their most consecutive Test wins.
Kane Williamson (C), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling (wk), Will Young
Injured Pakistan captain Babar Azam will continue to miss the forthcoming Test match. Their batting didn’t work well in the previous game. Stand-in captain Mohammad Rizwan was the biggest positive news in the batting as he scored 71 and 60 runs in the previous game. The other positive news in their Test batting was Fawad Alam’s incredible fourth innings century (102 runs) and Faheem Ashraf’s impressive first innings batting (91).
In the first innings of the opening game of this Test series, left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi took four wickets and leg-spinner Yasir Shah bagged three wickets. Meanwhile, during New Zealand’s second innings, Naseem Shah got three wickets. However, they still have to improve with the experiences to become a consistent bowling team.
The upcoming match is the must-win game for the visiting side Pakistan. Only a victory can save them to only draw this Test series as they have no chance to win this series.
Mohammad Rizwan (C/wk), Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah and Zafar Gohar
New Zealand vs Pakistan, 2nd Test: Match Prediction
The hosts New Zealand are undoubtedly favourite for the upcoming Christchurch Test against Pakistan. Despite the first Test ended in competitive way, Pakistan still have to improve in their game.