New Zealand will rise to the top of the world rankings for the first time if it avoids defeat against Pakistan in the second Test in Christchurch and wrap up its two-match series.

After seven straight home Test series triumphs, New Zealand will be strong favourite to secure another against a Pakistan side that showed great fight at Mount Maunganui but still lost the first Test by 101 runs.

A victory at Hagley Oval to seal a 2-0 series sweep would also push the Black Caps firmly into contention for one of two berths in June’s inaugural World Test Championship final at Lord’s.

Under the leadership of Kane Williamson, who returned to the top of the world Test batting rankings after his 23rd career century at Bay Oval, the Blacks Caps have developed into possibly the most consistent outfit in the Test game.

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They will, however,…

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