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NZ cricketers set for buoyant Pakistan

New Zealand spinner Mark Craig believes patience will be key when the Black Caps try to tame a Pakistan cricket side on a high after two huge wins over Australia.

深圳桑拿网

The first of New Zealand’s three Tests against Pakistan begins on Sunday in Abu Dhabi, the same venue where their opponents last week completed a 2-0 sweep over the Australians.

Only once did world No.2 Australia manage to bowl out Pakistan over the four innings of their series and they picked up just nine wickets in the second Test.

“We have no doubt it will be hard graft,” Craig said.

“We just need to stick to our plans and we’ll be right.”

With the pitch at Sheikh Zayed Stadium giving firm indications of again favouring the slow bowlers, both Craig and leg-spinner Ish Sodhi could be expected to play.

Craig sees “a bit of a holding game, a waiting game” in prospect for the Black Caps.

“Obviously spinners potentially could bowl a lot in this series here,” he said.

“So it’s just of matter of being nice and patient and not trying to force the wickets too early, and just being smart with our field placements.”

Craig, 27, had an impressive debut series in New Zealand’s 2-1 win in the West Indies in June, getting match figures of 8-188 in Kingston in his first Test.

In the drawn warm-up match against Pakistan A in Sharjah, he picked up a couple of wickets, while it was Sodhi who shone with a five-wicket bag in the first innings.

Pakistan, meanwhile, go in after securing their first series win over Australia in 20 years, and doing it in style by the crushing margins of 221 runs and 356 runs.

The hosts climbed to third in the Test rankings on the back of beating Australia and they also have history on their side against No.7 New Zealand – they haven’t lost a series to the Black Caps since the 1984/85 season.

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