Pakistan tour to New Zealand 2018 [Preview]

New Zealand is set to host Pakistan for five-match one-day series followed by three-T20 internationals. The tour is all set to begin from 6th January as New Zealand take on Pakistan in the opening game of the one-day series at Basin Reserve in Wellington.

Pakistan’s one-day captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has spoken to the media that the side must continue their good show in the format given their success in the Champions Trophy played in England. Azhar Ali is back in the one-day squad and will surely play in the one-day series. The right-handed batsman was out for a while due to a leg injury but has fully recovered to be available for selection.

Rookie Imam-ul-Haq showed impressive skills as an opener in absence of Azhar Ali to cement his place in the one-day squad. He will be reserve opener for the series as Fakhar Zaman and Azhar Ali are set to open the innings for Pakistan in the one-day series.

Shoaib Malik has enjoyed good form throughout this year and would be keen to replicate in the next year as well starting with the series in New Zealand. Malik along with Mohammad Hafeez are experienced players in the setup and provide batting depth to Pakistan in terms of utility with the bat and ball.

Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed is expected to provide crucial runs for the side coming late in the batting order for Pakistan. Sarfaraz has really inspired Pakistan in a lot of ways as a wicket-keeper batsman is a feisty character with the aggressive mindset to win the game from the start.

Faheem Ashraf and Mohammad Nawaz are players who can provide a utility with the bat and ball. Nawaz has been selected as first-choice Imad Wasim is out of the series due to a knee problem.

On the other hand, New Zealand has been excellent with the bat and ball in the ongoing series against New Zealand. Kane Williamson and co. have completed a whitewash over the visitors in the Test and ODIs. Kane Williamson will hope that his side would be able to maintain their winning run at home against Pakistan.

Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill have leading runs-scorer for New Zealand in the last couple of years. Tom Latham has been effective with the bat besides taking the gloves for New Zealand in the format. Henry Nicholls is another fine player who has proven to be a decent player for the side in all formats. Wicket-keeper Glenn Phillips has risen among the ranks due to his good performances in the Caribbean Premier League.

Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, and Todd Astle will be three options in terms of spin for the series against Pakistan. Tim Southee and Trent Boult are one of the most successful bowling pairs for New Zealand in recent times. Boult has certainly raised his game to another level in the last couple of years while Southee is always a handful in conditions that offer something for the fast bowlers.

Matthew Henry and Lockie Ferguson are other pace options while Adam Milne might get in fit in time for the series after being ruled out of the T20 series against West Indies.The first one-day game between hosts New Zealand and Pakistan will be played on 6th Jan at Basin Reserve, Wellington.  The other venues for the series are Nelson, Dunedin, and Hamilton.

The five-match one-day series will be followed by three T20 Internationals. The first T20 will be played on 22nd Jan at Westpac Stadium, Wellington. The other venues for the remaining two games are Auckland and Mount Maunganui.

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