Misbah-ul-Haq will also lead Pakistan for the 50th time in Tests when he takes on Kane Williamson's side at Christchurch     Getty Images
Misbah-ul-Haq will also lead Pakistan for the 50th time in Tests when he takes on Kane Williamson’s side at Christchurch Getty Images

Pakistan‘s Test captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, is keen to capitalise on the poor batting form of the hosts who enter the series on the brink of a whitewash they were handed by India in a three-Test series in October 2016. He further stated that his side will be eyeing a spirited start against New Zealand even though they are short of match practice since their lone tour game got abandoned due to earthquake in the region. Misbah showed confidence on his troops’ adaptability while, on the other hand, his counterpart, Kane Williamson, has expressed his players to play the game as freely as possible. The first Test begins on November 17 at Christchurch. Full Cricket Scores, New Zealand vs Pakistan, 1st Test, Christchurch

According to Cricbuzz, “The England series was a tough series for us. That experience will really help us here, because of the confidence we gained from that. The players are up for this challenge, and we can prove ourselves here also. We need to learn some things from that tour – those conditions, and how we go about business. How we’ve batted, how our disciplines are, and how we’ve bowled,” said the veteran.

The 42-year old middle-order batsman emphasised on the need for his team to adapt to the seaming conditions in New Zealand and how it would be completely different to what they are used to back in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). “If you look at the UAE conditions and New Zealand conditions, these are totally different. That’s the biggest challenge for us, especially for our batting,” said the 42-year-old. ALSO READ: NZ vs PAK, 1st Test: Key clashes from series opener

Pakistan briefly occupied the No. 1 spot in the ICC Test rankings before Virat Kohli’s side took over winning against New Zealand. There is an outside chance that they can regain the top spot, provided India lose the series to England and Pakistan overpower New Zealand in the two-Test series.

On the other hand, New Zealand skipper Williamson stressed on the need for his players to play with freedom and leave the horrors of the India tour behind.

After losing 0-1 to South Africa in an away two-Test series, New Zealand were whitewashed in a three-Test series in India. With an important home summer set to begin, the 26-year old skipper added, “I think it’s important when you come off the back of that Indian tour, which was extremely tough, that we still come back here and try and play with that freedom. ALSO READ: New Zealand vs Pakistan 1st Test: Likely XI for Misbah-ul-Haq & Co

“Express our skills, when we do, we do play our best cricket. That will be the challenge for us and that’s something we want to make sure we do going into this big home summer,” said Williamson, urging his team to focus on the present.

Williamson also focused on the poor form of his regular opener, Martin Guptill, who has been dropped from the first series of their home season. He also commented on his senior pro, Ross Taylor, and his lack of run scoring. While Jeet Raval is set to make his debut in the first match against Pakistan, the skipper remained confident about Taylor’s comeback. He felt that the 32-year old talisman has been working hard in the nets and would regain form anytime soon.