Babar Azam’s men would be looking to bounce back after being thumped 3-0 by England. It was the first time Pakistan were clean swept at home and with Babar having lost four Test matches at home in 2022 (most of any Pakistan men’s Test captain ever in a calendar year), the pressure is on them to bounce back quickly.
They will rely on their skipper to get back among the runs after a relatively indifferent series against England. Pakistan would also hope that Mohammad Rizwan finds his groove quickly, having not been in great form in red-ball cricket in the past few months.
New Zealand, on the other hand, would be looking to pile further misery on Pakistan. They have changed captains, although in Tim Southee, they seem to have found an able successor to Kane Williamson. Williamson is still a part of the squad and still represents their best batting bet, alongside Tom Latham. Daryl Mitchell and Devon Conway, meanwhile, would also be looking to strengthen their burgeoning reputations.
Trent Boult, though, is a notable absentee. The left-arm pacer did not sign a central contract and is not a part of the side. Matt Henry and Neil Wagner, however, form a strong three-pronged pace attack alongside skipper Southee, with Ajaz Patel, Ish Sodhi and Michael Bracewell lending depth to the spin department.
The first Test takes place at Karachi. Multan will host the 2nd Test before the caravan moves back to Karachi for a three-match ODI series.
PAK vs NZ 2022/23 squads: Full team lists
New Zealand Test squad: Tim Southee (captain), Michael Bracewell, Tom Blundell (wk), Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Glenn Phillips, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young
New Zealand ODI squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Latham, Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee
Pakistan: Yet to be announced