New Zealand tour to Pakistan 2021 [Preview]
New Zealand is scheduled to tour Pakistan to play three ODIs and five T20I, starting from 17th September at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. The visitors are touring the country after almost 18 years. Senior players like Kane Williamson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Martin Guptill and Mitchell Santner have been rested as they will prepare for the Indian Premier League to be staged in the UAE.
Wicket-keeper batsman Tom Latham will lead the side for the ODI and T20I series. Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell, Will Young, Finn Allen and Colin de Grandhomme have been playing competitive cricket for the past couple of weeks.
Recently, New Zealand lost the five-match T20I series against Bangladesh. The Black Caps will be looking to make an impression with bat and ball on their first tour to Pakistan after almost two decades. In the batting department, the side will be relying on experienced players like Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls and Colin de Grandhomme to deliver the bulk of the runs.
Besides experienced players, Finn Allen Will Young, Jacob Duffy, Rachin Ravindra and Cole McConchie are promising players in the batting department.
Doug Bracewell, Matt Henry, Blair Tickner, Hamish Bennett and Scott Kuggeleijn are prominent pacers selected for the tour of Pakistan. Ajaz Patel, Cole McConchie and Rachin Ravindra are spin options for New Zealand for the upcoming series in Pakistan.
On the other hand, Pakistan have announced their T20I and ODI squads for the home series against New Zealand. Captain Babar Azam will be hoping that the side can start their home season on a decent note.
Uncapped pacers Mohammad Wasim, Shahnawaz Dhani, spinner Zahid Mehmood and batsman Abdullah Shafique have been named in the ODI squad for the three-match series.
Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan and Faheem Ashraf are all-rounders named in the ODI squad. Shadab Khan batting has improved considerably over the years and is expected to bat at no.6 in the batting order for this home series.
In the batting department, the onus will be on openers Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan, captain Babar Azam, middle-order duo of Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan to deliver the bulk of the runs in this ODI series.
Since September 2019, Babar Azam has been premier performer for Pakistan cricket team in the 50-over format. In 11 matches played, Babar Azam has accumulated 772 runs at an average of 77.20 with four centuries and two half-centuries to his name.
Besides Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman has showed excellent form with the bat in the limited-overs format. Left-hander has accumulated 497 runs in nine innings at an average of 55.22 with two centuries and two half-centuries to his name.
In the bowling department, the onus will be on the pace trio of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali and Haris Rauf to make crucial breakthroughs. Shahnawaz Dhani, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Hasnain and Mohammad Wasim are other prominent pace options for the side for this three-match ODI series.
Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Zahid Mehmood and Usman Qadir are prominent spinners picked for the one-day series against New Zealand.
It will be interesting to see how young New Zealand side fare against Pakistan in this one-day series.