Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 schedule – First cricket Test betweenand begins at Abu Dhabi tomorrow.
Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 schedule
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Commences: Sunday, Nov. 9
Start time: 6 a.m. GMT (10 a.m. local)
Live on: Ten Sports (Middle East/Asia), SKY Sport (New Zealand)
Weather: The Weather Channel is forecasting a hot and dry week, with temperatures set to linger around 30 degrees Celsius for the duration of the Test.
It was almost two years between Test series victories for Pakistan, but when it came, it was sweeter than anyone could have anticipated.
In dismantling Australia across two Tests in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Misbah-ul-Haq’s men broke all sorts of records as they ended a 20-year wait for triumph over the Australians.
Imperious with the bat and surprisingly incisive with the ball, the home side made a mockery of the supposed gap in quality, sending the tourists home with yet another Asian nightmare as they rejoiced in a long-awaited recapture of excellence.
Still riding that momentum, Pakistan now face Australia’s neighbours, New Zealand, in the same region as they look to extend their winning run.
Positively, the hosts have outlined their desire to develop stability within the national team, going into the first Test unchanged—a rare occurrence for this Pakistani generation. Such a situation will be daunting for the Kiwis, given the form of Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali and Zulfiqar Babar just to name a few.
And worryingly, New Zealand will be facing the same issues Australia did, trying to overcome an obvious degree of rust having spent a considerable time away from the Test arena, as well as the problems inherent when lacking a world-class spinner in this part of the world—something the tourists’ high-quality seam attack will find hard to overcome.
Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Ahmed Shehzad, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Ehsan Adil, Haris Sohail, Imran Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Talha, Rahat Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Shan Masood, Taufeeq Umar, Yasir Shah, Younis Khan, Zulfiqar Babar
Brendon McCullum (c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Mark Craig, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wk), Hamish Rutherford, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner BJ Watling (wk), Kane Williamson
Fresh from his destruction of Australia, Babar is likely to be the key figure for Pakistan once more in this Test, given that New Zealand have historically suffered from the same spinning issues as their closest neighbours.
Making Saeed Ajmal’s absence almost forgotten, the left-armer’s variety in flight, turn and pace has proved irresistible on the sluggish UAE wickets and has reminded many why the veteran is the owner of a fine first-class record despite his lack of experience at Test level.
Should Babar continue the form he displayed against Australia, New Zealand will find this Test to be something of a continuation from the previous series contested by their antipodean counterparts.
Unless it’s been a week-long bender for Pakistan since the victory over Australia, it’s difficult to see how New Zealand can push the hosts in these conditions in this sort of form.
Without elite spinning options and coming into the Test with questions over the fitness of Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson, one senses this match could easily be as lopsided as the pair that have just gone before it.
Thus, Pakistan should continue their dominance here, provided there isn’t any sort of hangover effect from the emphatic triumph just completed.