Opinion

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, Third Test: Preview

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New Zealand have recalled their most experienced spinner Daniel Vettori for the third and the final against Pakistan. The Kiwis are 1-o down in the series and they would want to use the momentum they got in the second Test and make an impact in the final Test to level the series.

The pitch at Sharjah is known for its slow nature and it’s mostly a paradise for spinners. Keeping this in mind, the Kiwi think-tank has bolstered their spin department by including their veteran spinner Daniel Vettori.

After an embarrassing defeat in the first Test, New Zealand made a good comeback in the second match. New Zealand will be pleased with Ross Taylor’s return to form in the second innings of the second Test. Taylor, who was going through a lean patch in Test cricket, scored a brilliant century in the second innings and bailed out his team from a tricky situation of the day 4.

Pakistan, on the other hand, would want to continue their good run in Test cricket and end the series on a winning note. Pakistan’s batting, particulary their middle-order, has been in a phenomenal form. The likes of Younis Khan and Azhar Ali have been in a great run-scoring form since the Australia series.

Pakistan’s all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez will return to the top order after missing out in the second Test due to an hamstring injury. However, Pakistan will miss Hafeez’s off-spin on the Sharjah surface expected to assist spin, as he was reported for an illegal action in the first Test of the series. 

New Zealand’s coach Mike Hesson has said that the pitch at Sharjah will be the slowest of the three venues used in the Test series. If Hesson’s reading of this pitch is correct then spinners will play a big role in the third Test. New Zealand’s batsmen, especially their hard hitting all-rounders Corey Anderson and James Neesham, who have not played spin very well and all eyes will be on them to see whether they can lift their game in the last Test.

PROBABLE CHANGES

New Zealand: Daniel Vetorri will join Ish Sodhi and Mark Craig one of the two all-rounders (Anderson or Neesham) might be sacrificed.

Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez will return and he will replace Taufeeq Umar in Pakistan’s playing XI.

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By The Cricket Lounge

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