After being pipped in the first test, Pakistan roared back to decimate New Zealand in the second test at Dubai by an innings and 16 runs. The hosts will now look to seal their second consecutive test series win in the UAE when they face the tourists in this series decider which gets underway from December 3 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Live telecast of the third and final test is scheduled to begin at 10 AM local time each day.
Pak vs NZ 3rd Test: Where to Watch/Live Streaming
TV channels: Sony Six, Fox Sports, OSN Sports Cricket HD, SuperSport, Prime TV
Live Streaming: SonyLIV Bet365, OSN Play, Foxtel Sports
Out of the eight test matches played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium that have produced results, seven have been won by the side batting first. Also, the average score here tends to drop with every innings which means neither side would want to bat fourth. So toss is going to be key and the team that wins it is highly likely to bat first.
Read on for team previews, betting odds, betting tips and match prediction for Pak vs NZ 3rd Test...
Pakistan Team News & Playing 11
PAK Team News
Pakistan have announced an unchanged 15-man squad for the series deciding third test. Mohammad Hafeez and off-spinner Bilal Asif, both of whom have poor showings of late, have managed to escape the selectors' axe. Opening batsman Fakhar Zaman continues to remain sidelined as he is still recovering from his knee injury. The hosts, after a clinical performance in the last game, are unlikely to make changes to their playing eleven.
PAK Key Players
Babar Azam is leading the runs charts in the series with 202 runs. He is coming off an unbeaten 127 in the last game and is expected to carry his good form into the third test. Haris Sohail too scored 147 last time while Asad Shafiq has also been amongst the runs. Azhar Ali has a couple of good hits, including a 65 in the first test at this ground, and he is another key man at the top. Yasir Shah and Hasan Ali are undoubtedly the main threats in this Pakistani bowling attack. Yasir has picked 22 wickets in the series which includes a match-haul of 14 wickets at Dubai - the second-best figure by a Pakistani bowler in tests. The leg-spinner is likely to give the New Zealand batsmen a hard time once again. Hasan Ali took a five-fer at this ground in the first game and he together with Mohammad Abbas, who is third in the ICC test bowling rankings, will be expected to strike early with the new ball.
PAK Recent Form
Pakistan have now won four, lost two and drawn one out of the seven test matches they have played this year. In the first test of the ongoing series, they faltered with the bat in their second innings and made a mess of the chase to lose the match by four runs. The hosts, however, bounced back strongly at Dubai to level the series. Pakistan declared at 418 in the first innings before wrapping up New Zealand for just 90 which all but ensured their victory.
Pakistan Predicted Playing 11
Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (c/wk), Bilal Asif, Yasir Shah, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Abbas
New Zealand Team News & Playing 11
NZ Team News
New Zealand have fielded the same eleven in the first two matches and they are expected to go unchanged for the third test as well. Tom Latham and Jeet Raval will once again open the batting with skipper Kane Williamson taking up his usual number three position. Trent Boult and Neil Wagner will lead the Kiwi pace attack while Ish Sodhi and Ajaz Patel constitute the spin department.
NZ Key Players
Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls, Tom Latham and Ross Taylor are the best bets with the bat for New Zealand. Nicholls has scored the most runs for the team in this series and has hit two half-centuries. Skipper Williamson is the third-best batsman in the world in test cricket and he cracked a fifty in the first match at this ground. Latham and Taylor too would have grown in confidence after scoring 50 and 82 respectively in the second innings of the last game. Trent Boult, Ajaz Patel and Ish Sodhi will be the ones to watch out for when it comes to bowling. Patel has been a surprise package, snaring eight wickets in the first two matches of his test career and Pakistan will now be wary of this left-arm spinner. Sodhi has not taken too many wickets in the series but he is expected to make a significant impact on this spin-friendly surface. Boult notched up a four-fer in the first test at this ground and he will look to replicate that performance.
NZ Recent Form
New Zealand now have six wins, two defeats and three draws in their last eleven test matches. They came into this series on the back of a 1-0 win in the two-match test series against England at home in March. Their batting on this tour overall has not been too impressive and their horrendous display in the first innings of the last match led to their innings defeat. However, the Kiwis will take heart from their second innings effort as they did well to cross the 300-mark.
New Zealand Predicted Playing 11
Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Ish Sodhi, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult
Team Form in Last Five Matches (most recent first)
PAK : W L W D L
NZ : L W D W W
PAK vs NZ Head to Head
PAK vs NZ Head to Head
Pakistan and New Zealand have now played 57 test matches against each other. 25 of those have been won by the former and 11 by the latter with the rest all having ended in stalemates.
Both have a win each in the two test matches that have been played between them at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. While Pakistan emerged victorious by 248 runs in the first of those encounters in 2014, New Zealand recently registered a four-run victory here in the opening game of the ongoing test series.
Pakistan begin as hot favorites to win this third test match at short odds of 1.52 on Betfair and 1.53 on both Betway and Bet365. New Zealand are the bookmakers' underdogs and are being offered at a much higher price of 4 on Betfair and 4.33 on both Betway and Bet365. The odds for this game to end in a draw currently stand at 5 on Betway, 5.50 on Bet365 and 6.60 on Betfair.
Pakistan vs New Zealand Prediction
Since 2014, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium has hosted seven test matches out of which only one has produced a draw. And with a bowler-friendly track expected to be served up for this game, wagering on a draw here seems risky. Pakistan completely dominated New Zealand at Dubai, and after that brilliant performance, they will be the more confident of the two sides heading into this series decider. The Kiwis, however, will gain confidence from their recent victory at this venue and also from their improved batting effort in the second innings of the last match. Pakistan have lost just one out of the twelve test series they have played in the UAE and we expect them to maintain their impressive record by securing the series at Abu Dhabi.
Final Verdict: Back Pakistan to beat New Zealand in the third test at 1.52 on Betfair and 1.53 on both Betway and Bet365.