The first Test between New Zealand and Pakistan starts this Saturday at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. After a thoroughly entertaining T20I series, it's time for Pakistan and New Zealand to swap colour clothing for the traditional whites.
Pakistan, without captain Babar Azam, will be led by Mohammad Rizwan. Despite having a relatively inexperienced batting unit, Pakistan's strength lies in their potent bowling attack led by Mohammad Abbas. With Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi in their ranks, the visitors will fancy their chances in the series.
Meanwhile hosts New Zealand come into this series on the back of a stunning series win against the West Indies. Kane Williamson and the New Zealand bowlers were on song in that two-match series, which should hold them in good stead ahead of their clash against Pakistan.
Although the hosts are the favourites to come out on top, Pakistan cannot be underestimated at any cost, something New Zealand would have learnt in the T20I series. With valuable Test championship points on offer, both teams should give their best in what promises to a great game of Test cricket at the Bay Oval.
Squads to choose from
Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Will Young, Mitchell Santner, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Blundell, Tom Latham, BJ Watling, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Trent Boult.
Mohd Rizwan (C), Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Imran Butt, Haris Sohail, Shan Masood, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohd Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Sohail Khan and Yasir Shah.
Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson (Captain), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (Wicketkeeper), Daryl Mitchell/Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner and Tim Southee.
Abid Ali, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (Captain and Wicketkeeper), Shadab Khan/Faheem Ashraf, Haris Sohail, Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah and Mohammad Abbas.
Match: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 1st Test
Date: 26 December 2020, at 3:30 AM IST
Venue: Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui.
The pitch at the Bay Oval is a decent one to bat on, but it has enough in it for the pacers. With extra bounce and swing coming into play, batsmen will need to bide their time in the middle before playing their strokes. The spinners could come into play as the game progresses, which could make for a pretty exciting contest. Given the bowler-friendly conditions on offer, both teams will ideally want to bowl first after winning the toss.
New Zealand vs Pakistan Dream11 Fantasy Suggestions
Fantasy Suggestion #1: M Rizwan, K Williamson, R Taylor, S Masood, T Latham, F Alam, K Jamieson, M Abbas, N Wagner, S Afridi and T Boult.
Captain: R Taylor. Vice-Captain: T Boult.
Fantasy Suggestion #2: M Rizwan, K Williamson, R Taylor, Abid Ali, T Latham, F Alam, Azhar Ali, N Shah, N Wagner, S Afridi and T Boult.
Captain: T Boult. Vice-Captain: K Williamson.Published 24 Dec 2020, 00:01 IST