Abu Dhabi - Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed is confident
leg-spinner Yasir Shah and medium pacer Mohammad Abbas can combine to tame
"tough" New Zealand in the first Test starting in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
The fast-rising Abbas took 17 wickets in a two-match Test
series, including a ten-wicket haul at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, as
Pakistan beat Australia 1-0 last month.
Abbas, who made his debut last year, has 59 wickets from his
first 10 Tests and will be backed by the spin duo of Yasir and Bilal Asif.
Sarfraz said he expects more from Yasir, who managed just
eight wickets against Australia.
"Yes, our bowling attack is good," said Sarfraz on
"Abbas has been bowling superbly while Yasir didn't
look as great as we had expected, but in this series I expect more from
Yasir has been a match winner on the neutral venues of
United Arab Emirates (UAE) where Pakistan have been forced to play since a
terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team suspended international cricket back
He took 15 wickets in the 1-1 series draw against New
Zealand in the UAE in 2014.
But Pakistan have not beaten New Zealand in a Test series
since 2011, and Sarfraz is not taking them lightly.
"New Zealand are a good side and gave us tough times
both in the Twenty20s and one-day internationals," said Sarfraz of the
Pakistan crushed New Zealand 3-0 in Twenty20s while their
one-day series was shared 1-1 after the third match ended in a no result due to
rain in Dubai.
Pakistan will resist the temptation of playing the newest
pace sensation, Shaheen Shah Afridi, whose nine wickets earned him
man-of-the-series in ODIs.
Abbas is likely to share the new ball with Hasan Ali with
Yasir and Asif assisted by Mohammad Hafeez in spin.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, who returns to the
squad after missing the third one-day with a groin strain, hopes his team adapt
"Obviously, coming into Pakistan's home series there is
a lot of work to do in terms of the overseas sides adapting to the conditions
as best as they can," said Williamson.
"I think it's important that we adapt with this
inexperienced side that we have come here with and look to learn as we can and
do that quickly because we want to be playing our best cricket under these
Williamson admitted the threats from Abbas and Yasir.
"They both are outstanding bowlers and bowling well for
a long time. Abbas, ever since he entered international cricket, is bowling
superbly around the world," said Williamson.
New Zealand are likely to hand a debut to left-armer Ajaz
Patel, who is set to partner either off-spinner Will Somerville or leg-spinner
New Zealand also have a strong pace attack with Trent Boult,
Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Matt Henry to choose from.
The second Test is in Dubai (November 24-28) and the third,
again in Abu Dhabi (December 3-7).
Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Saad Ali, Yasir Shah, Bilal Asif, Mohammad Abbas, Hassan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Faheem Ashraf, Mir Hamza
Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Jeet Raval, Ish Sodhi, Will Somerville, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner
Umpires: Bruce Oxerford (AUS) and Ian Gould (ENG)
Tv umpire: Paul Reiffel (AUS)
Match referee: David Boon (AUS)