Kiwi-Pak Test series just an entree for one-dayers

Thursday, January 6, 2011

WELLINGTON - Such is the seemingly all-consuming focus on the one-day World Cup, the test series between New Zealand and Pakistan threatens to be little more than an entree ahead of the standard main course diet of limited overs cricket the remainder of the summer promises.

Three tests became two so a sixth one-day international between the two teams could be squeezed in as all roads lead to the subcontinent-hosted World Cup from late-February to early-April.

The upshot leaves New Zealand cricket followers just 10 days - weather and batting capabilities permitting - to savour the purest form of the game, starting with the first day of the first test here at Seddon Park tomorrow, reports.

The test series shapes as an intriguing one between two teams with their own issues but who have enjoyed some moderate success recently in the longer form of the game.

Pakistan drew a two-test series 0-0 with powerhouse South Africa in the United Arab Emirates in November, while in the same month New Zealand earned worthy draws in two tests touring world No 1 India before capitulating in the third match.

But as their rankings of sixth (Pakistan) and eighth (New Zealand) suggest, all is not well.

Teams for the first cricket test between New Zealand and Pakistan at Seddon Park in Hamilton starting tomorrow:

New Zealand: Daniel Vettori (captain), Brendon McCullum, Tim McIntosh, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Jesse Ryder, Kane Williamson, Reece Young, Tim Southee, Brent Arnel, Chris Martin, James Franklin, Daryl Tuffey (two to be omitted).

Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Taufeeq Umar, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Adnan Akmal, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Umar Gul, Tanvir Ahmed, Sohail Tanvir, Wahab Riaz (three to be omitted). (ANI)

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