Pakistan will host New Zealand in a two-match series as a part of the ongoing 2021-23 ICC World Test Championship. The first Test will take place at the National Stadium in Karachi, starting on Boxing Day, December 26.
The Men in Green are coming from the back of a 3-0 defeat against England. The defeat caused an uproar in the country that saw a change in the Pakistan Cricket Board and the selection committee. Former skipper Shahid Afridi has been appointed as interim chairman of the selection committee.
The new committee has added three players to the squad, which includes Mir Hamza, Sajid Khan and Shahnawaz Dahani. It will be a fresh start for Pakistan and they will hope to bounce back strongly.
New Zealand, on the other hand, will be led by senior fast bowler Tim Southee. Kane Williamson stepped down as skipper ahead of the series and will play as a batter. It will be a test for the Kiwis on Asian conditions, who will look to take down an already hurt Pakistan side.
Details: Pakistan (PAK) vs New Zealand (NZ), 1st Test
Venue: National Stadium, Karachi
Date and Time: Monday, December 26, 10:30 am IST
Spinners are likely to play an important role on this wicket as it was evident in the last Test between England and Pakistan. The batters will have to spend some time in the middle to score runs.
Pakistan (PAK) vs New Zealand (NZ) – Predicted Playing XI
Pakistan – Abdullah Shafique, Shan Masood, Kamran Ghulam, Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan, Agha Salman, Hasan Ali, Nauman Ali, Naseem Shah, Abrar Ahmed
New Zealand – Tom Latham, Will Young, Kane Williamson, Devon Conway, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Blundell, Ish Sodhi, Michael Bracewell, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner
Pakistan will be itching to get back to winning ways after a thrashing against England. Despite being down in confidence, they will start as favourites to take a 1-0 lead in the series. However, Betway has placed its odds in favour of a draw.
Fantasy Team Suggestions
Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson, Babar Azam (C), Devon Conway (VC), Imam-ul-Haq, Daryl Mitchell, Mohammad Nawaz, Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel, Abrar Ahmed, Nauman Ali.