Pakistan will need to pick themselves up, find some runs and rally behind stand-in captain Azhar Ali if they are to square their test series against New Zealand.

Having lost the first test at Christchurch by eight wickets yesterday, Pakistan have one chance to level things up, at Hamilton's Seddon Park starting on Friday.

And they'll need to do it without their talismanic captain Misbah-ul-Haq.

He flew home with his family yesterday after the death of his father-in-law.

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The 42-year-old led the team out of the tumultuous events of the spot fixing scandal in 2010 to the world No 1 ranking this year.

He has also been influential with the bat, never having averaged less than 40 in the last six calendar years.

''Misbah's been exceptional throughout the years and we'll miss him definitely," quality opener Azhar said.

''We have to cope with that now and whoever comes into the side will take that opportunity and give us runs, as well as the stability he gives us in the middle."

Pakistan have two obvious contenders for Misbah's spot, Sharjeel Khan and Mohammad Rizwan. The only problem is both are uncapped at test level.

Then again Jeet Raval and Colin de Grandhomme had zero caps against their name when the first test started, and both turned on starring roles in New Zealand's win.

Pakistan's seamers bowled well but the batsmen let the show down, albeit against high quality New Zealand bowling.

But they'll need to find a way to get more than the 304 runs off 134.3 overs they mustered in Christchurch.

No one reached 35 in Pakistan's first innings, and only tailender Sohail Khan, with 40, got past that mark in the second.

Five of Pakistan's top seven in Christchurch averaged over 40 in tests so it's not as though they are out of their depth, and they have the pride factor to consider, as the world's No 2 nation.

''Obviously it's not a good start," Azhar said, who will lead his country for the first time in a test in Hamilton, although he's been in charge for 28 of his 42 ODIs.

''It's a long tour -- we have to go to Australia after this. You have to bounce back and stay positive about it.

''We are positive that we can improve our performance from this.

''As a batting unit we need to put up a better show and we are capable of that. Our top six know how to play long innings. It's just a matter of time and we are really confident about it."