With Pakistan winning the second match comprehensively by an innings and 16 runs, they would have a lot of momentum going into this match. The venue for the game is the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi which is the same ground where the first Test was played.
Pakistan have announced their 15-member squad for the third game. It was highly unlikely that they would have tinkered with the winning combination if not for the injury to Mohammad Abbas.
Mohammad Hafeez and Bilal Asif are under some pressure after a string of low performances. Fakhar Zaman has been ruled out due to his knee injury. The Pakistani batting will revolve around Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali. Yasir Shah and Hasan Ali remain their biggest threats.
New Zealand have had a strange outing on their tour of UAE a till now. The consistency in their performance is missing and the brand of cricket they are associated with is not quite there. One of the main reasons for that is that their captain and best batsman Kane Williamson has not been able to shine as brightly as he would have liked.
The Kiwis would like to go in the third Test with the same playing XI with Tom Latham and Jeet Raval opening the innings and Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls featuring in the middle order. With the ball, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner will shoulder the pace attack while Ish Sodhi and Ajaz Patel will be their chief tweakers.
Let's have a look at the probable playing XI of both teams.
New Zealand- Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Ish Sodhi, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult
Pakistan- Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (c)(wk), Bilal Asif, Yasir Shah, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi
Who will win? – Pakistan
Head to Head – Tests 57, New Zealand 11, Pakistan 25, Draw 21
Top Batsman (Runs Scored) –Babar Azam (Pakistan), Kane Williamson (New Zealand)
Top Bowler (Wickets taken) – Yasir Shah (Pakistan), Trent Boult (New Zealand)
Most Fours – Imam-ul-Haq (Pakistan), Kane Williamson (New Zealand)
Team Scores Batting First at the end of Day 1 – Pakistan 250+ for 4, New Zealand 220+ for 6
*NB these predictions may be changed nearer the start of the match once the final starting teams have been announced and we will be running ‘In–Play’ features soon, so stay tuned.
©Cricket World 2018