Pakistan vs New Zealand - 1st Test Match Preview & Prediction

Sarfraz Ahmed and Kane Williamson unveil the trophy for the upcoming Test series between Pakistan and New Zealand. —AFP

Sarfraz Ahmed and Kane Williamson unveil the trophy for the upcoming Test series between Pakistan and New Zealand. —AFP

Afridi's call-up in the Test set-up comes as no surprise considering his continuous rise in the shorter formats.

Apart from the formidable pace unit, Pakistan also have some excellent spinners in the experienced Yasir Shah, Bilal Asif and the ever-reliable Mohammad Hafeez.

Sarfraz said he expects more from Yasir, who managed just eight wickets against Australia. "Abbas, ever since he entered global cricket, is bowling superbly around the world", he said. In a quirk of Test matches on Friday in the UAE, New Zealand might have ended up being helped by the extended session as Williamson and Henry Nicholls continued to get settled as Pakistan's bowlers finally dropped their intensity.

"They both are outstanding bowlers and bowling well for a long time". However, with the likes of Mohammad Abbas and Yasir Shah making a comeback in white clothing, it would be very hard for New Zealand to extract any different result than Australia.

When is Pakistan vs New Zealand taking place? .

New Zealand have not played a test match in nearly eight months since England visited them in March but their form in this format is relatively good overall having won six and drawn four of their last 11 tests.

The last time the Black Caps played a Test series in the United Arab of Emirates against Pakistan, they drew 1-1 at the end of 2014. Seven of the players who were a part of the squad back then are still present this time around and will be eager to giving Pakistan a run for their money.

"Coming into Pakistan's home series, naturally there is a lot of work to do for the overseas side to adapt to the conditions, but it is a fresh series".

"Obviously they [Pakistan] had a successful time against Australia, so it's important we try and take some of those lessons and play our best cricket".

Kane Williamson (C), Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wk), Tim Southee/Colin de Grandhomme, Ish Sodhi, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Ajaz Patel/William Somerville. Spin is expected to play a huge role from the outset and how the New Zealand batsmen handle that will go a long way in deciding which the series goes.

New Zealand handed a Test debut to 30-year-old left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel, leaving out paceman Tim Southee.

Latest News