Dubai (Web Desk) AT the end of the second day New Zealand, having conceded a first innings lead of 74 on the first innings, have managed to survive in an attempt to wipe off the deficit first and then get enough runs to make life difficult for the unpredictable and inconsistent Pakistan batting line-up.
Whether they would be able to make a better impression in their second knock and leave a tricky target to chase for Pakistan will much depend on how long they are able to occupy the crease and what kind of lead they muster up while facing this mixture of pace and spin that Pakistan have on offer.
Thus far it has been quite dull and a dreary affair as far as batting has been concerned in the last two days and the third day today may be a different game altogether because cricket has this unpredictability to take U-turns and and when things like that happen then the whole game turns on its head.
In their first innings barring their captain Kane Williamson who scored a patient 63, none of the other batsmen showed much skills. Williamson no doubt is one of the best amongst the batsmen on the Test circuit and one of the finest that his nation had produced.
His technique and temperament and the ability to face pace and spin with effortless ease makes him what he is, a genuine and a classy product.
For consolidating their stance in this match the tourists will no doubt will look up to their captain to rally them around in to a position of invincibility.
The experienced Ross Taylor and others like Henry Nicholls and Colin de Grandhomme will no doubt come into
the equation with Williamson if Pakistan are not able to restrict them to the minimum.
The pitch with no terror or any danger signs may improve too. It has been cloudy and murky all day yesterday and in case of rain, which has been predicted, the surface may freshen up and that too will also will be an interesting factor for the batsmen facing Pakistan bowling today.
But from my calculations of yesterday’s play, I am compelled to to think that Sarfraz Ahmed and his men were unable to cash on to the opportunities offered to make a sizeable first innings total and maintan their dominance.
Except for Babar Azam and Asad Shafiq, there wasn’t much muscle in the batting against some penetrating bowling by Trent Boult and the rest. Going into their shell, the Pakistani batsmen committed almost similar mistakes as the Black Caps did in their first innings to crumble for low scores.
For this the visitors will need to bat for their life and Pakistan will have too come up with a greater resolve and planning to to stop the tourists snatching back the initiative which on the first day was Pakistan’s.