NZ vs PAK 2nd Test: Kiwis begin training with sight on 2nd spot at World Test Championship rankings

NZ vs PAK 2nd Test: New Zealand cricket team on Friday began preparation to boost their quest for a place in the ICC World Test Championship final.

The Kiwis won 60 points in the ICC WTC standings after securing a 101-run win against Pakistan in the first Test on Wednesday and kept their dream alive of making it to the final of the mega event. The Kane Williamson-led side suffered a setback when Neil Wagner was ruled out of the second Test against Pakistan, however, the replacement Matt Henry joined the Kiwis camp on Friday and is currently training with them.

“New Year training at Hagley Oval and look who’s back in camp! Local lad Matt Henry,” BLACKCAPS tweeted while sharing net sessions pictures.

The Kiwis will topple Australia to go on the top of the ICC Test Team Rankings but that won’t be enough to play the final of WTC as the top two teams in WTC standing will lock horns in the showpiece event. The team rankings are run independently and do not affect the ICC WTC table.

The Kiwis are now third, behind Australia and India in terms of percentage points won, the factor that determines the final placings rather than total points won, following a change to the points system owing to the COVID-19 disruption.

Australia and India are ahead in the points table on that basis. New Zealand, currently on 0.667 percentage points, could go up to 0.700 if they whitewash Pakistan and move up to second depending on the results in the other series Down Under. However, a 1-1 draw would reduce them to 0.600 points.

Australia, who overtook India to the top position after the change in regulations from maximum points to percentage points, are currently on 0.766 after the Boxing Day Test loss on Tuesday.

New Zealand will take on Pakistan in the second Test of the two-match series at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Sunday.