Pakistan and New Zealand are set to face each other in the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series starting Friday (September 17) at Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi.
Tom Latham will be captaining the visiting side in the absence of regular Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson, who along with few other Black Caps players, is supposed to fulfil his Indian Premier League (IPL) commitments.
Pakistan, under the leadership of Babar Azam, lost their last ODI and T20I series in England and will be focusing on making a comeback in the home series.
Similarly, New Zealand have come to Pakistan after losing the T20I leg against Bangladesh. The upcoming series will be a huge learning experience for their young players.
The track at Rawalpindi stadium has always assisted batters, but spinners have also enjoyed success at this venue over the years.
Since the hosts have already named their 12-member team for the match, there will be a toss-up between Usman Qadir and Zahid Mehmood, with possibilities of Usman getting a place in the final XI.
PAK XI: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakil, Shaheen Afridi, Usman Qadir.
The visitors will miss the presence of Tom Blundell, so Finn Allen could make his ODI debut. Cole McConchie impressed one and all in the Bangladesh tour, and it’s expected that he will get a place along with Ajaz Patel. There could also be a toss-up between Jacob Duffy/Blair Tickner and Scott Kuggeleijn/Doug Bracewell.
NZ XI: Tom Latham (c,and wk), Rachin Ravindra, Finn Allen, Will Young, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, Ajaz Patel, Matt Henry, Cole McConchie, Jacob Duffy/Blair Tickner, Scott Kuggeleijn/Doug Bracewell.
- New Zealand win the toss and bowl first
- Pakistan Total: 260-285
- Pakistan win the toss and bowl first
- New Zealand Total: 240-255
Pakistan to win the contest.