Tourists’ head coach Mickey Arthur said that the difference between Pakistan and New Zealand in the upcoming two-match Test series would eventually come down to which side performs better with the bat.
The South African knows that New Zealand’s seam-friendly pitches will complement pacers from both sides, which is why he claimed that batting would be the deciding factor.
“The difference could lie in which of the top six batsmen batting units are going to perform better because I think both teams’ strength lies in the fact that we’ve got quality seam and swing bowlers,” said Arthur.
Despite the fact that the hosts are coming off a comprehensive three-match Test series defeat to India, Arthur believes that this won’t make Pakistan’s task any easier.
“First of all, I think New Zealand are very well coached,” he said. “I think they’re a very good side at the moment, particularly in their own conditions.”
He added: “The recent series defeat would have fired up New Zealand to make a comeback and be better in their own conditions, which they certainly will be.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan have some momentum behind them, with a 2-1 Test series win over the West Indies after drawing the series against England 2-2 in the summer.
Speaking of training, Arthur said that the conditions in New Zealand are going to similar to the ones in England.
“Our training, preparation, and focus are pretty much based on how we trained and prepared to play in England,” he said. “I think in England we got it right, and conditions in New Zealand are going to be similar.”
The South African added: “So I don’t expect anything too different from the conditions in England and the players are used to them.”
The head coach said that he regarded the Black Caps with the utmost respect and believes the two-match tour to be an exciting one. “I think it’s going to be one hell of a series…and for the spectators in New Zealand, I think it’s going to be outstanding,” he said.