PAK v NZ 2020-21

Mohammad Rizwan hints at changes in Playing XI ahead of 2nd Test against New Zealand

Pakistan and New Zealand will take on each other in 2nd Test starting from tomorrow. That Pakistan almost eked out a draw in the first Test must have boosted their confidence.

But they suffered a setback on Saturday when Babar Azam was ruled out of the second Test as well. Mohammad Rizwan will once again lead the side under whom Pakistan had shown great fight in Mount Maunganui, but if the visitors want to draw the series, they will require their top order to step up.

Pakistan stand-in Test captain Mohammad Rizwan has confirmed that the Men in Green will be making changes in their playing XI for the second Test against New Zealand, which commences at the Hagley Oval from Sunday.

Sarfaraz Ahmed might get a chance in place of Haris Sohail or Abid Ali while Sohail Khan or Zafar Gohar can also be included in Playing XI.

While speaking to media, Rizwan was confident of his team making a strong comeback against the hosts, who leads the series 1-0.

“We have thought of making changes for the second Test. We will sit down with the team management and decide, but there are going to be changes,” said Rizwan.

“The last match of any tour is very important. The series is still alive and all players are confident of giving their best. We have an opportunity to level the series by winning the next Test,” he added.

Mohammad Rizwan will continue to lead Pakistan. (Photo by MICHAEL BRADLEY/AFP via Getty Images)

Pakistan premier batsman and Test captain Babar Azam has been ruled out of the second Test as the 26-year-old is still feeling slight pain in his thumb, following which, the team management has opted against taking any risk.

“Babar wants to represent Pakistan when he is 100 percent fit. He needs some more time to get fit and will be available for the South African series. His absence will certainly be felt, but it provides an opportunity for other players to perform like Fawad Alam did in first Test. Once Babar will be back, we will have a good combination,” Rizwan said.

Rizwan added that they will be looking to bowl first at the Hagley Oval, as the conditions are likely to favour the pacers.

“We will be looking to bowl first if we win the toss because the forecast is cloudy and there is grass and some moisture on the pitch,” he concluded.

Match Details:

Date: January 03, 2021

Timing: 03:00 AM PKT

Venue: Hagley Oval, Christchurch

Weather: The weather is expected to be windy and cloudy for the duration of the Test with scattered showers forecasted on the fifth day.

Conditions / Pitch Report: The pitch at the Hagley Oval tends to help bowlers on the first couple of days before the moisture dries off and batting becomes easier on the last day.

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