Even though there is plenty at stake for Pakistan, who find themselves at 0-1 down in the series, the second Test against New Zealand in Hamilton could assume extra significance in the long run. They will not have the services of skipper Misbah-ul-Haq who has left for home following his father-in-law’s passing and should give us an insight into their future.
On the other hand, the Kiwis have relished the switch from dusty Indian pitches to the pleasant greenery at home. For a team which is still unclear about the direction that they need to take in the post-McCullum era, a series victory against one of the better travellers should be a welcome boost.
Here are five of the most important aspects surrounding the second and final Test at Seddon Park.
#5 Can a Misbah-less Pakistan regroup quickly?
As far Pakistan cricket is concerned, numerous captains have come and gone. But, very few have gone on to play the role of leader. Undoubtedly, Misbah has been one among those with his unflappable demeanour setting an ideal example for his countrymen. At an official age of 42, the clock is however running out for him rather rapidly which could leave possible heir apparent Azhar Ali with a difficult task.
Having taken over the ODI captaincy from Misbah, he has already seen a struggling side plummet to much lower depths. With the Test team sporting a settled and thriving look instead, Azhar could be an apt candidate to carry the veteran's tireless work forward.