Blackcaps v Pakistan: NZ coach Gary Stead backs bad-light call in drawn test series at Karachi

Blackcaps coach Gary Stead is adamant the decision to end a drawn second test against Pakistan early was the correct one, even though both teams were within touching distance of victory.

The controversial ending at Karachi - a week after an identical outcome in the first test at the same venue - left the two-match series deadlocked, a frustrating result for cricket fans at a time when tests struggle against shorter forms for relevance.

New Zealand needed just one wicket and the home side 15 runs to win, when umpires ruled light was insufficient to continue any longer.

In the first test, the tourists were chasing 138 runs at T20 pace, when their innings was cut short still 77 behind.

Stead stands by the umpires' most recent decision, despite the result, but supports future moves to negate the affects of bad light. 

"We were only three overs short yesterday, but in the context of where both teams were, I'm sure both teams would want to continue for a result in that situation," he said. 

"I can assure those interested that the light last night was at a stage where I don't think you can continue. Even though lights were on, it gets to the point where there are shadows out there and I think the umpires made the right call at the time.

"We only needed one wicket and that's why, ideally, you do need to keep looking at the options you have to maximise playing time."

Day-night tests employ a pink ball that stands out under lights, compared to the traditional red ball, but current rules do not allow its use in bad-light scenarios during day fixtures.

"I read somewhere that Australia were investigating something similar with an all-purpose ball that can be played at different times. They're always good conversations to have, because ultimately, fans want to see results and they want to see great cricket matches.

"To be fair, even though these two were draws, when you look back, they were exciting matches, even though they were played a little bit differently to how they would like to see them played."

Kane Williamson takes a catch to dismiss Sarfaraz Ahmed
Kane Williamson takes a catch to dismiss Sarfaraz Ahmed. Photo credit: Getty Images

The elevation of former Blackcaps captain Brendon McCullum as head coach of England and the advent of his high-octane 'Bazball' approach threaten to change how test cricket is played moving forward. 

Last month, England swept their three-test series in Pakistan, but Stead insists results are still hard to come by there.

"I don't think we look at Pakistan as a typical subcontinent place, where you get the pitches of India that bounce and turn a lot more, and results are probably a lot easier to come by," he said.

"As a team, we had a lot of really positive performances, and to take both games down to the last sessions and be in potential positions to win is still exciting. It was a little bit like old-fashioned, drawn-out test matches, but often they are that way in Pakistan."

New Zealand and Pakistan now contest a three-match one-day series, starting Monday.