After dramatic New Zealand’s tour of UAE where Pakistan emerge winners with a 3-0 lead and drawing the ODI series 1-1. The two countries will again go head to head in the three-test series at Shaikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The first match will be played on 16th November.
Pakistan, after their victory, has decided to give a resting position to opening batsman Fakhar Zaman and leg-spinner Shadab Khan for the first two tests due to their respective injuries. Pakistan previously has won five of their last eleven test matches and three out of five they have played earlier this year. They also lost a test series against Sri Lanka last year with 0-2. Since then, Pakistan has defeated Ireland in a one-off test match, drew 1-1 against host England before beating Australia at home. It has been an impressive year for Pakistan so far.
New Zealand will have a replacement in the face of left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel for Mitchell Santner who is still recovering from his knee injury. In their previous series against England, New Zealand won the opening game by an innings and 49 runs and then drew the second game to win the series 1-0. After losing to India, NZ has beaten Pakistan and Bangladesh but did face defeat against South Africa.
BJ Watling (wk); Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.
Sarfraz Ahmed (wk); Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Bilal Asif, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, Yasir Shah.
My Playerzpot XI:
Pakistan will be the more confident of the two sides ahead of this match as they have won four out of the five completed fixtures on this tour.
They also hold a big psychological advantage in the fact that they have lost just one out of the eleven tests they have played at this venue.
The hosts have beaten New Zealand here in the only match-up against them in this format and we expect them to start this series off with a win.