Pakistan will win and level the series 1-1.
After an enthralling first test match in which New Zealand came from behind to win the match by 4 runs, both the teams are set to face off each other in another intriguing contest at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium at Dubai. New Zealand side led by Kane Williamson are upbeat after their improbable victory in the first test by a narrowest margin of 4 runs. Williamson even went to describe it as "one of their greatest test wins".
They would be looking for their first series win in UAE against Pakistan after their last tour in 2014/2015 season ended as 1-1. Most of the kiwi batsmen got starts in the first test but failed to make a big score. With the experienced batsmen such as Latham, Taylor, Nicholls, Williamson and Watling, New Zealand would be looking to post a big score in their first innings. Debutant and MoM Ajaz Patel, Wagner and Boult were exceptional with the ball in the first match and would like to continue their good work. Tim Southee might replace Colin de Grandhomme, who failed to impress with both bat and ball.
Pakistan on the other hand cannot believe their loss in their first test. They were cruising along with 50 runs required and 6 wickets in hand in the second innings. Then with the mix of some rash batting and excellent bowling by NZ bowlers they lost the match by 4 runs. Last time they played at Dubai, Australia managed to hold Pakistan to a draw. Pakistan would want to get back to their winning ways at the Dubai ground. The ominous is on batsmen Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Mohammed Hafeez, Haris Sohail and Sarfraz to score big. Both Hasan Ali and Yasir Shah were amongst the wickets in the first match and would like to continue their rich vein of form. Their latest bowling sensation Mohammed Abbas was very good with the ball even though he does not have many in the wickets column. This match is going to be one on more exciting and enthralling contest as both the teams have a lot at stake.
Expected Playing XI: Sarfraz Ahmed (C & wk), Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Babar Azam, Imam-ul-Haq, Bilal Asif, Mohammad Abbas , Hasan Ali
Pakistan will be expected to go in with the same team and no changes in their playing XI. They have all their bases covered for these conditions in both bowling and batting departments
Azhar Ali – Azhar played a fighting knock of 65 runs before falling as the last wicket in First test. He would be eager to score a big score and guide his team towards victory.
Mohammed Abbas – He might not have wickets to show but bowled with great control and accuracy leaving away runs at just RPO in both the innings. He would be looking to make his mark in the wickets column.
Yasir Shah – Pakistan premiere spinner took 8 wickets along with a 5-fer in the second innings. He would like to continue his form and get more wickets.
Stats from the recent match:
Asad Shafiq – 88 runs at an Avg. 44.
Yasir Shah – 8 wickets at an Avg. 20.5
Hasan Ali - 7 wickets at an Avg. 11.86
NEW ZEALAND PREVIEW
Expected Playing XI: Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, BJ Watling (wk), Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Tom Latham, Ish Sodhi, Jeet Raval, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Colin de Grandhomme/Tim Southee
New Zealand might be tempted to bring in Tim Southee against all-round skills of the Colin de GrandHomme. No other changes are expected in their playing XI.
Kane Williamson – He got starts in both the innings with 63 and 37 runs respectively. He would be looking to get a big score to guide his team to victory.
Neil Wagner – He bowled a 13 over spell in the second innings which played a vital role in their victory. He would like to contribute more to the team in the second match too.
Ijaz Patel – He has had a bit of dream debut by helping his team to win a test match from an improbable situation and win Man of match award too. He would love to showcase his wicket-taking abilities in the international circuit.
Stats from the recent match:
Kane Williamson - 100 runs at an Avg. 50
Ajaz Patel – 7 wickets at an Avg. 17.58
Trent Boult – 4 wickets at an avg. 20.75
Dubai is traditionally known to be good batting surface for first three days of the match and then aid the spinners invariably in the fourth and fifth days. The temperatures are expected in the early 40 degrees and players might find it difficult in the sub continental heat. The teams batting first have scored more than 450 runs in the last three matches. Both the teams would not like to chase in the fourth innings on a turning track.
TOSS: WIN the toss, BAT First
Batting is easier in the first three days of the match once you negate the new ball. Both the teams would like to have a considerable lead in first innings. And chasing is a bit tough in the fourth innings.
Spirited New Zealand look to upset Pakistan, but Pakistan will win and level the series 1-1. Pakistan has the experience of playing in the Dubai heat and their players are accustomed to it. And they possess both batting and bowling attacks more suitable to these conditions.
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