After Pakistan’s historic 3-0 defeat to England earlier this month, New Zealand will fancy their chances of winning the first Test at the National Stadium in Karachi.
Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes masterminded England’s success, and New Zealand will hope to follow their countrymen and pick up just their third Test success in Pakistan.
The first of two Tests will take place in Karachi, and both sides will be eager to make a fast start 12 months after they were originally supposed to play.
New Zealand’s Tim Southee will captain the Test side for the first time after Kane Williamson stepped down after six years in charge earlier this month.
Pakistan vs New Zealand Betting Tips:
Despite their recent defeat to England, Pakistan have been listed as the 8/11 favourites. Their form at home means they are hard to oppose, but the fact that the draw and a New Zealand win is listed as 3/1 suggests this match has the ability to be a close affair.
Pakistan have recalled fast bowler Hasan Ali for the upcoming series against New Zealand, but they have been forced to replace Azhar Ali, who has retired from Test cricket.
Uncapped batter Kamran Ghulam has been included in the 16-man squad, while Naseem Shah has shaken off a shoulder injury and is likely to feature against the Black Caps.
Pakistan have stuck with the spin trio of Abrar Ahmed, Zahid Mehmood and Nauman Ali, while allrounder Mohammad Nawaz gives them another option with the ball.
Sadly an injury to Haris Rauf means he will play no part in the first Test.
New Zealand legspinner Ish Sodhi returns after a four-year absence from the Test team, while the uncapped Blair Tickner and Glenn Phillips are also named in New Zealand’s squad.
Trent Boult has made himself unavailable for the tour, while Kyle Jamieson is still nursing a back injury.
New Zealand to win @ 11/4
The manner of Pakistan’s defeat to England is a real worry for the hosts ahead of the first ball, and New Zealand have a squad capable of taking advantage.
While Pakistan are just as likely to respond at the first time of asking, there is no value in backing the hosts at odds on.
New Zealand’s Southee will have a fresh set of ideas as captain, and a change in tactics could be just what the Black Caps need to record the victory.
Kane Williamson top run scorer (1st innings) @ 5/2
After relinquishing the captaincy, Williamson has the chance to play without pressure this month.
He won 22 of his 40 Tests in charge, and averaged 57 as captain. Williamson will still lead England in white-ball cricket, but for now, he will just focus on his job with the bat in Test cricket.
That could mean trouble for Pakistan, especially when Williamson scored 238 runs against them in his last Test series against them in January 2021.