Pakistan won a Test series overseas for the first time when they beat New Zealand 1--0, thus reversing the situation of 1969. Their success was thoroughly deserved. They were better equipped in stroke-making batsmen and particularly in spin bowling than New Zealand, and although the touring team were by no means outstanding in the field, they dropped fewer catches in the Tests than New Zealand.
In the previous season, New Zealand had won a tremendous reputation for fielding during the drawn series in the West Indies, but in the drawn Tests at Wellington and Auckland, many vital chances were missed. The only match finished was at Dunedin, where the Pakistanis enjoyed a resounding victory. Against orthodox left-arm slow bowling and a seam attack of modest quality, Pakistan scored heavily and swiftly, Asif Iqbal and Mushtaq sharing a record fourth-wicket stand of 350. Then the captain, Intikhab, and Mushtaq with sharp wrist spin, demoralised the New Zealanders, on a helpful pitch.
The lack of right-hand leg-spinners in New Zealand must be a source of concern to the administration. Leg-break bowling has been rather out of fashion in some international teams, but its value has been emphasised regularly by India and Pakistan and Australia have always shown a steady regard for this type of attack.
Until the final Test when they were intent on avoiding defeat, Pakistan played pleasing cricket and they were one of the most popular teams to have toured New Zealand. They had several batsmen of outstanding quality; their approach to the provincial matches was most aggressive, and a complete change from that of the previous Pakistan team in New Zealand. The Pakistan players also won high regard for their sportsmanship on the field, and for their willingness to encourage youngsters at their games by allowing them to take part in pre-match knock-ups and practices. All in all, this Pakistan tour was a splendid success, and this was reflected, too, in the financial returns. New Zealand made a profit of about $10,000 form the tour and Pakistan took home about $18,000.
Although the brothers Sadiq and Mushtaq scored heavily, and Asif Iqbal was often brilliant, the outstanding Pakistan batsman was the new Glamorgan captain, Majid Khan. He gave some memorable displays. Zaheer Abbas was successful in the early tour games, but a surprising failure in the Tests. A replacement after Saeed Ahmed and Mohammad Ilyas had left the team, Wasim Raja showed ability as a right-hand leg-spinner and a batsman capable of attacking slow bowling vigorously. Wasim Bari was a splendid wicket-keeper and often an obstinate batsman.
As a prelude to the New Zealand 1973 visit to England, the tour was a disappointment. The batting in the Tests was erratic and sometimes inadequate, and on Test pitches which lacked much pace or bounce, New Zealand's heavy dependence on a seam attack was exposed. Reference has been made to the fielding inadequacies, but K. J. Wadsworth kept wicket ably.
Match reports for
Match reports for
Western Australia Colts v Pakistanis at Perth, Nov 15, 1972
Western Australia v Pakistanis at Perth, Nov 18-21, 1972
Victoria v Pakistanis at Melbourne, Nov 24-27, 1972
Victoria Country v Pakistanis at Shepparton, Nov 28, 1972
Queensland v Pakistanis at Brisbane, Dec 1-4, 1972