A win or a draw in the second Test versus Pakistan will take New Zealand to the top of the ICC Test rankings. But Kane Williamson’s boys need to produce a victory if they are to harbour any chance of making the finals of the ongoing World Test Championship.
The Christchurch Test against Pakistan starting Sunday (January 3) is the last match New Zealand will play in whites before the WTC final, which is slated to be held at Lord’s in June this year. The hosts enjoy a 1-0 lead after winning the opening Test by 101 runs.
While a win would make their points tally highest in the table, the deciding factor PTC (points earned/points available) would hinge around the results of India, Australia and England – all of them are in the race to the final.
Kane Williamson, however, isn’t too worried about the stakes with regards to the WTC table. He instead spoke about needing to remain focused on controlling the things which are in their hands, while adding the Kiwis have successfully established an “element of consistency” in their setup.
“You know these things are very difficult to control and these rankings sort of move every day. Looking back, we’ve always been competitive at times but certainly not all the time and the team’s come a long way in terms of bringing an element of consistency,” Kane Williamson said during a virtual press conference on Saturday.
Australia will play two more Tests against India, while the latter further have a five-match Test series scheduled at home against England in February-March. Additionally, a victory next week will help New Zealand surge their unbeaten home record to 17 Tests and also win six consecutive Tests for the first time.
New Zealand on a five-Test winning run (chronologically)
1st Test against India: Feb 21-24 | New Zealand won by 10 wickets | Wellington
2nd Test against India: Feb 29 to Mar 2 | New Zealand won by 7 wickets | Christchurch
1st Test against West Indies: Dec 3-6 | New Zealand won by an innings and 134 runs | Hamilton
2nd Test against West Indies: Dec 11-14 | New Zealand won by an innings and 12 runs | Wellington
1st Test against Pakistan: Dec 26-30 | New Zealand won by 101 runs | Mount Maunganui
Published 02 Jan 2021, 14:21 IST