Blackcaps v Pakistan: History beckons for Blackcaps in second test

History and finals aspirations are on the line in the second test for the Blackcaps starting on Sunday at Hagley Oval in Christchurch. 

The Blackcaps are after their six straight test victories - a New Zealand record - while also looking to complete the perfect home summer for the first time when playing multiple sides.

Nothing short of a win will do for New Zealand in Christchurch if they want to keep their hopes alive of reaching the final of the world test championship played at Lords in June. 

Australia and India sit in front of them, but if results go New Zealand's way, they could be playing in the first-ever test championship final in June. 

Not only would a win help their test championship aspirations but it would also officially move them to No.1 in the International Cricket Council's test rankings for the first time in their history.

But Blackcaps skipper Kane Williamson isn't letting that affect his side's preparations. 

"To get into those positions there is so much hard work, and for us that is the focus but you go into every match trying to win it," Williamson says. 

After nailbiting victory in the opening test in the Mount, Williamson's side will know they'll need to replicate that performance if they're to pick up the vital victory they require.

Pakistan could welcome back their skipper and world No.5 test batsman Baba Azam who broke his thumb earlier in the tour. 

"We saw that in the last game as well how challenging it is against this Pakistan side and then you add Baba to that and it strengthens their side, but for us, it's about focusing on us and what is important in terms of how we operate," Williamson says. 

His inclusion will be a major addition for the visitors who are looking for their first test victory in their last five matches after losses to England and the opening test loss to the Blackcaps. 

The Blackcaps will also be without the inspirational Neil Wagner who was ruled out for up to six weeks after breaking two of his toes in the opening test. 

This will cause a selection headache for coach Gary Stead, who recalled Matt Henry who hasn't played a test since the January 3 test last year against Australia. 

Stead could decide to go for a straight swap with Henry in for Wagner or he could choose to bring Daryl Mitchell in as the fourth seamer, something Williamson believes he could do. 

"Yeah that's a potential role he could play and also why he's in the squad and obviously over recent times that has been the balance we've had," he says.

"It'll be about adapting again to a new surface, often it offers a bit throughout, so we'll just have to have a look at it and make a call on toss and team."

Join us for live updates of the second test between New Zealand and Pakistan from Sunday.