New Zealand v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Wellington

New Zealand seek urgent batting revival

The Preview by Siddhartha Talya and Siddarth Ravindran

January 14, 2011

Comments: 20 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

January 15-19
Start time 11.00 (2200 GMT)

Misbah-ul-Haq drives one during his half-century, New Zealand v Pakistan, 1st Test, Hamilton, 2nd day, January 8, 2011
Misbah-ul-Haq has led from the front since he took over as Test captain © AFP

Big Picture

The wicket in Hamilton for the opening Test didn't warrant a three-day match, but New Zealand made it one with their hapless batting in the second innings. The temporary relief provided by a Twenty20 series win, also marking an encouraging start to John Wright's tenure as coach, was sullied by a spineless capitulation on a flattish pitch at Seddon Park. In what are expected to be tougher batting conditions in Wellington, with more swing and movement on offer for the fast bowlers, and where New Zealand were beaten by Pakistan early last year, an urgent recovery is the need of the hour for the hosts. The focus remains on the top order: Tim McIntosh is struggling and could well be replaced, Martin Guptill was given a torrid time by the left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman and the question remains of whether Brendon McCullum will shed some of his aggression in more testing conditions.

As for Pakistan, this is an opportunity to win their first Test series in 11 attempts since 2006. And it would be a memorable one, for their inexperienced players have played a hand in setting it up. Rehman starred in an all-round performance, Asad Shafiq was part of what was, in the end, a match-winning stand, Adnan Akmal showed ability down the order, while Wahab Riaz and Tanvir Ahmed shone with the ball in each innings. Add to that the performance of their captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, who led from the front with a stoic half-century, and things seem to be falling into place for a team plagued by enough distractions off the field. The seamers, Umar Gul, Riaz and Ahmed, should derive more assistance from the Basin Reserve track. It could boil down to whether New Zealand can combat them more determinedly.

Form guide

(Most recent first)
Pakistan: WDDLW
New Zealand: LLDDL

Watch out for…

Left-arm seamer Wahab Riaz was the quickest bowler in the first Test, regularly hitting speeds of around 145kph and causing problems for the batsmen with the angle from which he bowls. He was unlucky in the first innings in Hamilton, but took three crucial wickets in the second. On a more helpful surface in Wellington, New Zealand's struggling batsmen will face a stern test.

In the first innings in Hamilton - his first Test at home - Kane Williamson batted with an assurance that was lacking in many of his senior colleagues. The shot-selection against a relentlessly accurate Abdur Rehman, and his composure against the quicks bodes well for a fragile batting unit.

Pitch and conditions

The first Test was played on a slow-and-low track, something more likely to be seen in Pakistan than in New Zealand. Wellington is likely to be a more traditional New Zealand wicket, with plenty of sideways movement and also extra bounce to interest the quicks. Rain is forecast during the Test, though Saturday is expected to be a sunny day.

Team news

Pakistan are unlikely to tinker much with their combination after the big win in the first Test. That means Umar Akmal is likely to remain on the sidelines, and left-arm spinner Rehman should retain his place. One change they could consider is replacing Tanvir Ahmed with the quicker Sohail Tanvir.

Pakistan (probable): 1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Taufeeq Umar, 3 Azhar Ali, 4 Younis Khan, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Asad Shafiq, 7 Adnan Akmal (wk), 8 Abdur Rehman, 9 Umar Gul, 10 Tanvir Ahmed, 11 Wahab Riaz.

Daniel Vettori has hinted that James Franklin could be included in place of opener Tim McIntosh, who failed in both innings in the first Test. He said that with Ryder cutting down on his bowling, and Kane Williamson also likely to bowl only a few overs on account of a seamers' track in Wellington, Franklin's inclusion will reduce the load on the main bowlers.

New Zealand (probable): 1 Tim McIntosh/James Franklin, 2 Brendon McCullum, 3 Martin Guptill, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Jesse Ryder, 6 Kane Williamson, 7 Daniel Vettori (capt), 8 Reece Young (wk), 9 Tim Southee, 10 Brent Arnel, 11 Chris Martin.

Stats and trivia

  • Chris Martin is seven short of becoming only the fourth New Zealand bowler to reach 200 Test wickets.
  • Pakistan have lost only one Test series in 13 visits to New Zealand.
  • Since 1990, Pakistan have won all three Tests they have played at Wellington, the best win-loss record for any visiting team at this venue.
  • Since 1990, New Zealand have been dismissed for less than 200 on nine occasions against Pakistan, the most against any opposition. Their lowest score in home Tests in that period is 93, which also came against Pakistan.
  • Daryl Tuffey's 30 wickets against Pakistan is the highest for a New Zealand bowler against one opposition in home Tests since 2000. He is followed by Chris Martin who has 26 wickets in seven home Tests against Pakistan.


"We understand it was a poor performance but if we get too down in the dumps then we're not going to rectify it here."
Daniel Vettori doesn't want to wallow in the past

"I bowl 140kph-plus and Wahab (Riaz) is bowling 145kph-plus, so I think at the moment we are a bit faster."
Umar Gul says Pakistan won't be fazed by a fast-bowlers' track in Wellington

Siddhartha Talya and Siddarth Ravindran are sub-editors at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2011, 22:03 GMT)

umar akmal has not performed that bad.but management is doing ok by giving him a lesson.he is still a developing mind. never write him off.umar is a world class player but needs to show respect to excel...people expect miracles from him but every player takes time like tendulkar and kallis took years to mature as batsmen. great things take time to happen...............

Posted by IK11 on (January 14, 2011, 21:58 GMT)

Quite surprised to see so much optimistic pakistani fans out there.I think Nz are gonna win this test.Honestly speaking,Pakistan cricket team has been extremely poor in the last 4 years.Remember they haven't won any test series in the last 4 years.I am glad that pakistan have succeeded in avoiding series defeat which would have been there 1st test series defeat against Kiwis in the last 26 years.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2011, 21:55 GMT)


Posted by h4haseeb on (January 14, 2011, 21:13 GMT)

all Pakistan needs is some consistency and patience from their cricket administrators, i believe Pakistani soil is blessed with plenty of talent in this sport, people back there are in love and are crazy about cricket, this is what you need to win in any sport, which we have.... and no matter what happens to Amir, Asif and Butt, we don't need them if they have committed any wrongdoing... so many players better than Amir and Asif will come, we just have to be patient and make sure we don't loose them again, we need to educate them, and inshahallah once again Pakistan will be back to beat any side in the world... i know the past record of Pakistani cricket doesn't support my belief, but then we should never loose hope... love you Pakistan

Posted by Romansoul23 on (January 14, 2011, 20:39 GMT)

By the Grace of Allah Almighty, we will come out as a winner. InshaAllah

Posted by   on (January 14, 2011, 20:06 GMT)

The article says "....One change they could consider is replacing Tanvir Ahmed with the quicker Sohail Tanvir" Really? Is Sohail Tanvir quicket than Tanvir Ahmad? I don't think so. The last time I saw Sohail Tanvir was a medium pacer while Tanvir Ahmad looked pretty sharp in the first test.

Posted by ahmad25 on (January 14, 2011, 20:01 GMT)

go on Pakistan .You will win test series

Posted by syedahmed91 on (January 14, 2011, 19:56 GMT)

I really hope pakistan wins this one. Please Allah guide our team to victory.

Posted by sunnymachoo on (January 14, 2011, 19:33 GMT)

Yes, Misbah MUST stay as test captain as long as his age allows! He is probably the best test captain in "my" opinion... And Younis should be ODI captain in the WC.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2011, 19:28 GMT)

ALL THE BEST PAKISTAN... The only insensible thing about the line-up iz that Tanvir (Ahmed) iz in Place of (Sohail) Tanveer. Khuda Inshallah hum pakiyoon ki madad karay!!! Pakistan Zindabad!!!

Posted by sunnymachoo on (January 14, 2011, 18:59 GMT)

would be good to see sohail tanvir in the playing 11... Best of luck Team Pakistan!! =D

Posted by   on (January 14, 2011, 18:47 GMT)

Let see . Its unfair to say anything and wrong to underesitimate "kiwis"

Posted by Mr.Allien on (January 14, 2011, 17:34 GMT)

Good Luck Pakistan. Hope u show some consistency and confidence.

Posted by Harris.a on (January 14, 2011, 17:00 GMT)

i love this line up. i canot see why people are sayingthat pakistan need to improve batting. i think that our batting was very good.anyway i feel that umar akmal and saeed ajmal sould stick to one day and t20. GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN

Posted by pipsonian on (January 14, 2011, 16:53 GMT)

Keeping aside everything thats happened off the field, i dont think Pakistan has performed badly at all. I mean look at the series Pakistan played against England and we gave their batsmen some tough time in test matches. Then we were able to win the game against Australia and held South Africa to a draw. I think once the dust settles and all the off field distractions are taken care of, and Pakistan first string bowling attack comes back, we will be serious contenders to challenge the number one and number two sides in the world although on paper we may never be number one because of our inconsistent attitude, but otherwise we will pose a serious challenge to any team in the world as we have recently. I really liked the aggressive approach of Misbah's captaincy and hope he can stay in form and thus stay in the job for a longer time, only in tests though.

Posted by jonesy2 on (January 14, 2011, 16:28 GMT)

why do nz keep playing home tests against pakistan? also why isnt tuffey playing?

Posted by asadkum on (January 14, 2011, 15:56 GMT)

Mohammad Asad from USA ................................................................ Pak needs sensible batting !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All the best ...................................................................................

Posted by Fayss on (January 14, 2011, 14:59 GMT)

As a Pakistan cricket team supporter, I would like to see an improved batting from the batsmen, I really hope that Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq bring some good scores as they both showing lot of confidence and commitment.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2011, 14:49 GMT)

way to go cornered tigers!!!! even though i wanted to see umar akmal in the lineup but there's no need to change the current lineup!

Posted by khurramsch on (January 14, 2011, 14:41 GMT)

toss will b important this time & pak batting need to b sensible. bowlers will love this ground. i would again say good match coming up as both teams are even. both have some good bowlers, some good batsman, Botha are famous for inconsistancy, both are famous for clloapses. so it will be swing swing type of match

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