New Zealand are always a strong team at home, where conditions favour the bowlers. They were impressive in their first Test match win over Pakistan, and New Zealand are going for back-to-back win in the second Test against Misbah-Ul Haq's men, starting in Hamilton on Friday.
The home team are going to be without the services of Trent Boult, who has been ruled out by a knee injury. Doug Bracewell has replaced the fast bowler. Without Boult, are they going to resemble a weak bowling unit.? No way, they have Tim Southe, Matt Henry and man of the match from the first Test Colin de Grandhomme.
These bowlers can trouble Pakistan batsmen like they did in the first Test. Pakistan were dismissed for 133 and 171 in the two innings. The conditions in Hamilton could assist the seamers, and the road ahead does not look any easy. They have to dig deep in the crease, and score runs. Pakistan batsman Asad Shafiq believes that they have to be positive and try to score runs on such wickets, where blocking the ball is not easy.
"We have to play positive, we have to play aggressive on this wicket, that's the thing I think was missing in the last match. On a wicket like this it's very difficult to stop the ball every time, because this kind of wicket seams and swings a bit," stuff.co.nz quoted Shafiq as saying.
"So it's just a matter of time [before] you get a good delivery. So before that you have to take it on. It's a lesson that we have learnt from our last innings, on a wicket like this we have to spend time, but as well as spending time we have to score some runs, because if we are not scoring some runs, we are not going forward. We used to play on these wickets in our domestic cricket, it's a good challenge for us as batsmen, and we are looking forward to being positive on this wicket."
Their openers – Azhar Ali and Sami Aslam – have to see off the new ball, and not give their wickets easily. If the duo can provide a good start, it will be easier for the rest of the batsmen to follow, and experienced players like Younis Khan and Misbah can consolidate on that start.
As far as their bowling is concerned, Mohammad Amir and co. needs to bowl in the right areas, and make use of the conditions against the New Zealand batsmen. The home team will once again look for Jeet Raval to shine as he did in the Christchurch Test. With Players like Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, who know the conditions well, to follow, they will not want to come in when the ball is fresh and new.
Pakistan needs to come with an all-round display if they are to draw the series level.
Where to watch live
New Zealand vs Pakistan 2nd Test is scheduled for a 11 am local time (10 pm GMT, 3:30 am IST, 2:30 Pakistan time) start.
India: No live Tv coverage
New Zealand: Sky Sport Network. Live Streaming: Sky NZ.
Pakistan: TV: PTV Sports. Live Streaming: PTV Sports Live.
US: TV: Willow TV. Live streaming: Willow TV Online.
UK: TV: Sky Sports 2/HD. Live Streaming: Sky Go.