How Pakistan can hit back against the Black Caps

By David Leggat

Colin de Grandhomme and team mates celebrate a wicket. Photosport
Colin de Grandhomme and team mates celebrate a wicket. Photosport

Pakistan are now chasing a win to square their series against New Zealand.

They have not been beaten in a rubber by New Zealand since 1985 when Jeremy Coney and Ewen Chatfield put on 50 for the ninth wicket to win the deciding test by two wickets in Dunedin.

They are a resourceful team who were not at their best in Christchurch, as the hosts took the initiative with a convincing eight-wicket win at Hagley Oval.

So how to Pakistan, now without their inspirational captain Misbah-ul-Haq who has flown home, go about picking themselves up.

Here's three ways:

1: Runs from Younis Khan
The great batsman had his worst test outing in Christchurch with just three runs off 16 balls in his two innings. That's his lowest output in 111 tests when he's batted twice.

Played a poor shot, with no foot movement in the first innings, and got a snorter from Neil Wagner in the second.

He averages 53.4. He's hit 33 test hundreds, easily a Pakistan record. No Misbah puts more heat on Younis to deliver a strong performance in Hamilton.

2: Get Yasir Shah in the contest
This might be a little harder to manufacture because the spectacular legspinner needs pitches with a touch more help than Hagley Oval. This was the first time in his 20 tests that Yasir hasn't taken a single wicket. Only George Lohmann of late 19th century England, got to his 100 wickets quicker than Yasir's 17 tests. There seems no way Pakistan will omit the matchwinning spinner no matter how green the Seddon Park strip is. That said, New Zealand will know the dangers of turning up and playing on a pitch which is taking turn.

3: Be assertive with the bat.
Pakistan's second innings go slow went nowhere in Christchurch. Looking to knock off a first innings deficit of 67, they grafted 29 overs for 44 runs in the middle session on Saturday. The problem with that strategy of hunkering down and waiting for the bowling to slip up is that sooner or later a ball will come along with the batsman's name on it.

Take the battle to the bowlers. Five of Pakistan's top seven batsmen at Hagley Oval average over 40 in tests. That is a significant statistic. They need to show how they've got that productivity.

- NZ Herald

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