Recap: Black Caps v Pakistan – day one of the first test in Karachi

First test: Black Cap v Pakistan

Where: Karachi National Stadium; when: December 26-30, 6pm daily [NZ time]

Live coverage: Sky Sport 1, live updates on Stuff

Tim Southee will lead the Black Caps in test cricket for the first time in the first test against Pakistan in Karachi.

Stuff

Tim Southee will lead the Black Caps in test cricket for the first time in the first test against Pakistan in Karachi.

The Black Caps are set to be the first Test in Pakistan since 2002 and the first match of any kind since 2003 in Boxing when the two-match series begins at the Karachi National Stadium.

Last year’s white-ball cricket visit was aborted on the morning of the first one-day international due to security concerns, but the Australian and England teams are back there this year and New Zealand is now set to follow.

The first witness will be the first Black Caps under new coach Tim Southee, who will be revealed earlier this month as Kane Williamson’s surprise successor, ahead of the naming of a 15-strong squad.

It will matter whether his team can get a rare win or two in Pakistan at a time when the domestic team is surrounded by turmoil.

Here’s all you need to know to throw ahead [5.30pm Monday NZ time] and the first ball [6pm].

Team news

Black Caps head coach Gary Stead and Globes coach Shane Jurgensen have both spoken about the importance of wrist-spins in Pakistan, which pointed towards Ish Sodhi playing his first Test since 2018.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s squad of 19 players to choose from, after the newly formed selection board, chaired by former all-rounder Shahid Afridi, added three new faces to the original group of 16: Off-spinner Sajid Khan and Shahnawaz Dahani and seamer Mir Hamza.

Black Caps (e); Tim Southee (captain), Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Will Young, Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Tom Blundell, Michael Bracewell, Matt Henry, Ish Sodhi, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel, Blair Tickner.

Pakistan (e); Babar Azam (leader), Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Kamran Ghulam, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Agha Salman, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Zahid Mehmood, Nauman Ali, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Wasim , Abrar Ahmed, Mir Hamza, Shahnawaz Dahani, Sajid Khan

Attitude of the weather

The forecast in Karachi is for clear skies throughout, with highs between 26C and 28C.

form

Pakistan head into the first test against New Zealand having lost three matches in a row at home against England, with the last of those defeats coming as recently as last Tuesday.

All told, they have won just one of their seven matches in 2022 in Sri Lanka, having lost there as well, and at home to Australia, drawing the next two.

The Black Caps’ last tests were in June and there were also three losses in England. The difference between the two teams over the first three innings in that series was just 36 runs, but the teams went on to chase down targets of 277, 296 and 299 respectively.

They previously drew 1-1 with Bangladesh and South Africa last summer at home.

History

Two decades after the Black Caps’ last Test in Pakistan – a loss by an innings and 324 runs in Lahore in 2002, where Inzamam-ul-Haq dominated New Zealand with the bat and Shoaib Akhtar dominated them with the ball.

The second and final match in that series was never played after a bomb exploded outside New Zealand’s hotel in Karachi.

They played a total of 21 Tests in Pakistan for only two wins, which came 27 years apart in 1969 and 1996.

A story

Black Caps coach Song Stead: “The conditions that we will face here are very, very different to what we find in New Zealand, so we have chosen our squad and we think that the leg-netting is very important.”

Pakistan leader Babar Azam: “We couldn’t play the last series the way we wanted because we committed mistakes. Now we need to win it and play good cricket.”

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