After both Pakistan and New Zealand were on a losing streak before playing to a draw the previous week, they will both be looking to improve their records in the second and final test that will take place in Karachi beginning on Monday.
The lacklustre draw put an end to Pakistan’s losing streak at home, which consisted of four consecutive tests and included their first-ever 3-0 whitewash at the hands of England.
In addition, New Zealand arrived in Pakistan on the heels of a humiliating 3-0 defeat at the hands of England. After finishing the year 2022 without a victory in a Test match played at home, Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam swore that his team will play “positive and aggressive cricket.”
The way he put it was that “we need to take things session-by-session and day-by-day.”
“We’re working on it. It’s not that we need to play cricket in a different way.”
On the final day of the first test, with Pakistan on 77-2 and requiring 97 runs to avoid losing by an innings, New Zealand was in a good position to win the match and take the series lead.
But Saud Shakeel, who did not get out and made 55 runs, and Mohammad Wasim, who scored 43, averted the threat with a 71-run eighth wicket partnership that ate up time and overs in order to salvage a draw.
Pakistan proclaimed their score to be 311-8, however New Zealand were unable to reach their target of 138 runs in 15 overs as the light began to fade. New Zealand ended their innings with a score of 59-1.
Azam, who concluded the year as the best scorer in Tests with a total of 1,184 runs scored across nine games, stated that “We need to congratulate New Zealand with the manner they played and dominated.”
The pitch at National Stadium was favourable for slow bowlers, as 23 of the 28 wickets that were taken in the opening Test were taken by spinners.
After being winless in their previous five tests, New Zealand will play at the same location but on a different surface this time around in an effort to get back on the winning track.
“Compared to the initial Test, it does have a distinct appearance… On Sunday, batting coach Luke Ronchi commented that the ball had a little bit more moisture.
The preparations took far less time than usual because, as is clear, we just had two days to turn things around.
“If you want to get a result, it’s going to be a tough slog for you; you need to bat extremely well, and you need to take 20 wickets.”
Pakistan will look to bring in pacers Naseem Shah or Hasan Ali, while New Zealand might contemplate using Matt Henry instead of a spinner if they believe the wicket is favourable for pace bowling.