Pakistan’s head coach, Mickey Arthur is expecting a cracker of a series between Pakistan and New Zealand. He believes that the forgettable outing of Black Caps in India will not be a part of equation during the two-match test series against the Man in Green.
On the other hand, Pakistan is coming up with a decent winning record under their belt. They lost the third test against West Indies and Arthur blamed on complacency and tiredness for that.
Pakistan will take on New Zealand ‘A’ in a three-day game at Saxton Oval from Friday to get prepared for the campaign. Arthur has all praises for New Zealand and he is expecting some really competitive cricket between the two sides.
“First of all, I think the New Zealand cricket team’s very well coached,” Arthur said. “I think they’re a very good side at the moment, particularly in their own conditions. But our training and preparation and focus is pretty much on how we trained and prepared to play in England.”
According Arthur, Pakistan’s recent tour to England will help their cause as the playing conditions in New Zealand will not be much different from the English shores.
“I think in England I think we got it right and [New Zealand] conditions are going to be similar to England. They’re totally different to what we’ve just come out of in Dubai, but we were in England only three months ago and we played really well there.
“So I don’t expect anything too different from the conditions in England and the players are used to them.”
“I think it’s going to be a hell of a series…and for the New Zealand public, I think it’s going to be outstanding.”
New Zealand’s spinner, Mitchell Santner has his hand fractured just days before the series and he is out of action. Still, Arthur hailed Kiwis’ pace attack.
“The seam attack’s very good. We’re expecting a sort of trial-by-seam I guess. [But] we’ve got a very good seam attack as well.”
He further said that the team whose top six batter will do good will rule the field as both the teams have wonderful pace attack.
Mickey Arthur expressed no surprise that New Zealand were manhandled in India, “I coached Australia in India and we lost 4-0…those conditions are so tough for a team that comes from outside of the sub-continent.”
However, he believes that the defeat must have motivated Kiwis to bounce back, “All it does is fire up New Zealand to come back and be better in their own conditions, which they certainly will be.”
Talking about Pakistan’s warm-up game against New Zealand ‘A’, Arthur told that he will give the top Pakistani batsmen a go to give them the feel of the playing conditions, whereas, bowlers can be juggled.
“The bowling we’ll probably juggle around. I think we know who’s going to start that first test and for us it’ll just be making sure we get enough into their legs before the [first Test] start [in Christchurch],” he said.
“We’re a very good cricket team. We’ve got to play well and all our players need to be performing at their best…not a lot of standout individuals, but a team that works very well together,” he concluded.