The hosts New Zealand and the visitors Pakistan will face each other in the opening game of the two-match Test series at Bay Oval (Mount Maunganui) from Saturday (26th December) morning.
This Test series will be a part of the ongoing inaugural ICC World Test Championship. Before this Test series, they played a three-match T20I series where the hosts New Zealand won by the 2-1 margin.
New Zealand vs Pakistan, 1st Test: Complete Squads
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (C), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wk), Will Young
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan (C), Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah and Zafar Gohar.
New Zealand vs Pakistan, 1st Test: Predicted XIs
New Zealand: Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wk), Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult
Pakistan: Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Imran Butt, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (C), Faheem Ashraf, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Abbas.
New Zealand vs Pakistan, 1st Test: Fantasy Cricket Tips
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is currently in great form as he scored three T20 fifties and one Test double-century in his last five innings. While Henry Nicholls scored a brilliant century in the last Test against West Indies, opener Tom Latham played a knock of 86-run in the earlier period of that series.
Youngster Kyle Jamieson has impressed in his early international career, both as a right-arm pacer and right-handed lower-order batsman. The other pacers Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner all are in good form with the ball in hand.
This Test series is not going to be easy for the Pakistan team, especially when they haven’t their consistent player Babar Azam, who is their new Test captain. The top-order batsmen have to deliver well to put strong challenge against the mighty hosts.
The left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi has already impressed. If he gets enough support from the other bowlers, it will be very effective for the Pakistan team.
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Captain – Kane Williamson, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee
Vice-captain – Shaheen Afridi, Azhar Ali
Suggested Playing XI for Fantasy Cricket (1):
Wicket-keeper(s) – BJ Watling, Mohammad Rizwan
Batsmen – Kane Williamson (C), Tom Latham, Azhar Ali
All-rounder(s) – Mitchell Santner, Faheem Ashraf
Bowlers – Kyle Jamieson (vc), Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Shaheen Afridi
Suggested Playing XI for Fantasy Cricket (2):
Wicket-keeper(s) – Mohammad Rizwan
Batsmen – Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Azhar Ali
All-rounder(s) – Mitchell Santner
Bowlers – Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee (C), Shaheen Afridi (vc), Yasir Shah