Can Pakistan defeat Southee-led New Zealand despite the commotion off the field?

Match Preview: Pak vs New Zealand

It’s okay, New Zealand. They do have a new test captain, so they are experiencing “a change.” The team has lost six of nine tests during this World Test Championship cycle. Yes, they were the first subjects of the experiment. No Test matches have been played since then.

It doesn’t matter that they come from New Zealand. Does this seem all that drastic to you? It never happens. New Zealand will be fine because they will plan, nurture, use their resources efficiently and effectively, play their cards well, patiently wait, and become good again. The time will come, in the end.

Pakistan, however, has experienced a classic collapse, and some of us are yelling, “It’s about damn time!” They controlled it up until last week, at least while floating on a small, fluffy cloud of dull. 

Social media was in command for the PCB, where everything – even a 3-0 whitewash – was always so optimistic and joyful. They were also led by Ramiz Raja and Babar Azam.

A few days later, Shahid Afridi took over as head selector. Shahid Afridi is the head picker. There will always be a learning curve associated with that. 

After staging a coup against Ramiz, the new guys cut some cake as the first order of business. It suddenly becomes necessary for Babar’s teammates to tweet him encouraging messages. 

Saqlain Mushtaq is about to depart because no one is doing the same for him. The chief chooser has already left. The position of Mohammad Rizwan in the Test team is a topic of discussion.

Shaheen Shah Afridi is the quick-bowling cabinet. All done. The domestic system is about to be utterly destroyed. Again. Additionally, the main selector Shahid Afridi is making direct statements like:

We had a good discussion on the squad and agreed we needed to strengthen our bowling department to give ourselves the best chance of taking 20 wickets in a match.”

You can guess as well as anyone what it all signifies for the upcoming pair of Test matches that these two are currently playing. Pakistan is suffering and changing rapidly. 

New Zealand is being itself and, for extra obscurity, hasn’t played a Test match in decades. Both had just lost four straight games. Let’s say, in a pinch, that it shouldn’t be monotonous.

The year is not going well for Mohammad Rizwan. With a new selection committee in place, one of the first names on Pakistan’s team sheet is suddenly no longer necessarily that. 

His T20I relationship with Babar is being scrutinised more and more. There are requests for Sarfaraz Ahmed to replace him in Tests. It’s somewhat unfair. 

He may use rather theatrical glovework, but he is still safer than any of his contemporary forebears. This year, he has a 30 average with the bat, which isn’t fantastic but also not horrendous. 

It’s not a run of poor performances either; rather, it’s a number of unsuccessful starts. It is safe to argue, however, that he—as well as Pakistan’s batting—could need him to convert one of them.

All of a sudden, every skipper is a quick bowler. Although, in hindsight, it was probably more England’s batting than Tim Southee’s bowling that made him appear cooked this summer in England. 

Six months have passed, and he is now New Zealand’s new Test captain and is prepared to bowl on a continent where he has a stellar bowling record. 

Only the previous year, he was giving a masterclass in Kanpur, but this time, Trent Boult, his longtime swing partner, won’t be there. This series will explore how the tourists handle him with the ball in hand and under his control on the field.

Pakistan possessed a team. The PCB was updated after that. And the group gained three more members. Currently, in Babar’s opinion,

We will have a discussion with the selectors; then we will decide the final XI

Pakistan Squad Probably: 1 Imam-ul-Haq, 2 Abdullah Shafique, 3 Shan Masood, 4 Babar Azam (capt), 5 Saud Shakeel, 6 Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), 7 Agha Salman, 8 Sajid Khan, 9 Abrar Ahmed, 10 Mir Hamza, 11 Naseem Shah

New Zealand Squad Probably: 1 Tom Latham, 2 Will Young, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Devon Conway, 5 Henry Nicholls, 6 Daryl Mitchell, 7 Tom Blundell (wk), 8 Michael Bracewell, 9 Tim Southee (capt), 10 Neil Wagner, 11 Ajaz Patel