The first two Tests turned out to be quite good for both the teams. In the first Test, Pakistan did defeat New Zealand but unlike Australia, New Zealand showed some fight. In the second Test, New Zealand had the upper hand on almost all the five days but the victory seemed to aloof them. They handled the spin bowling well which makes the third Test starting 26th November at Sharjah even more interesting.
New Zealand have been bolstered by the return of Daniel Vettori, who will play a Test after a gap of two and a half years. His experience would be very much vital if New Zealand are to level this series.Vettori will also become the most capped New Zealand Test player when he takes the field tomorrow.
Their batting hasn’t been that consistent as leaving Tom Latham and Ross Taylor, none other player has been able to get a hundred. Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson , Corey Anderson and BJ Watling have all got off to starts but haven’t been able to convert them into big runs. So it would be a great opportunity for all of them to give all what they have to save the series. Their bowling has done a decent job till now and they just need to do what they have done till now. They are going in with six bowlers (3 pacers and 3 spinners), so options isn’t a problem for them.
On the other hand, Pakistan have been playing some great Cricket from the Australian series and they just need to stick to their basics to register a second consecutive series win. Their batting has been excellent throughout the series with Younis Khan and Azhar Ali stabilizing the innings and scoring big and Sarfraz Ahmed attacking at the later stage of the innings. Both their openers Shan Maqsood and Taufeeq Umar didn’t play well in the second Test and this can add to New Zealand’s advantage as this is the only weakness that Pakistan possesses.
Their bowling has been great. Rahat Ali, Zulfiqar Babar and Yasir Shah have been outstanding and New Zealand batsmen will have to play out of their skins to win.
Probable Playing XI For New Zealand:
Tom Latham, Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, BJ Watling, Daniel Vettori, Ish Sodhi, Mark Craig, Tim Southee, Trent Boult
Probable Playing XI For Pakistan:
Shan Maqsood, Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed, Rahat Ali, Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Babar, Mohammad Tallha
Date: 26th November, 2014
Time (IST): 11:30 am
Prediction: With the return of Daniel Vettori, New Zealand have been strengthened and I would fancy that New Zealand would definitely level the series.