PAK vs NZ, 1st Test: Preview, stats, and Fantasy XI
Pakistan eye a return to winning ways in the upcoming two-match Test series against New Zealand, starting December 26. Pakistan suffered a 0-3 defeat to England, which knocked them out of the ICC World Test Championship final race. NZ, the inaugural WTC winners, are out of contention too. Regardless, the Kiwis will look to conclude the year on a high. Here is the preview.
Pitch report, timing, and broadcast details
The National Stadium in Karachi will host this Test. The venue boasts an average first-innings total of 304. Spinners can be backed to dictate the game. Chasing sides have won 19 of 46 matches, while the sides batting first have won on seven instances here. The match can be watched live on Sony Sports Network and live-streamed on the Sony LIV app.
A look at the head-to-head record (Tests)
Pakistan have a 25-14 win-loss record against the Black Caps in Tests (Draws: 21). However, Pakistan haven't beaten NZ in a series since the 1-0 away win in 2011. New Zealand have also won each of their last three encounters.
Pakistan need to shrug aside their losing streak
Pakistan would be hoping to finish 2022 on a positive note. Spinners are likely to dominate and thus, the duo of Abrar Ahmed and Nauman Ali can wreak havoc. Batting-wise, Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel, and Imam-ul-Haq will have to deliver the needful. Meanwhile, left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel will spearhead NZ's bowling attack. Kane Williamson and Devon Conway can be backed for runs.
A look at the Probable XI of both sides
Pakistan (Probable XI): Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (wicket-keeper), Agha Salman, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Hasan Ali, Nauman Ali, Abrar Ahmed. New Zealand (Probable XI): Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson, Will Young, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Blundell (wicket-keeper), Michael Bracewell, Tim Southee (captain), Ajaz Patel, Neil Wagner.
Here are the key performers (Tests)
Leg-spinner Abrar has picked 17 wickets in two Tests. He claimed six wickets against England in Karachi. Babar has scored 1,009 runs in 2022, averaging 67.26 (100s: 3, 50s: 7). Saud has amassed 346 Test runs at 57.66 (50s: 4). Ajaz has claimed 43 wickets in 12 matches at 27.65. He owns a 10-fer as well (10/119 vs India).
Dream11 Fantasy Cricket Options
Fantasy XI (Option 1): Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson, Tom Latham, Babar Azam (captain), Devon Conway, Saud Shakeel, Daryl Mitchell, Mohammad Nawaz, Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel, Abrar Ahmed (vice-captain). Fantasy XI (Option 2): Tom Blundell, Devon Conway, Babar Azam, Imam-ul-Haq, Saud Shakeel, Daryl Mitchell, Mohammad Nawaz, Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel (vice-captain), Abrar Ahmed (captain), Nauman Ali.