New Zealand tour to Pakistan in UAE in 2018-19 [Preview]
New Zealand is all set to play Pakistan in the UAE in the coming month of October and November. New Zealand is scheduled to play three T20Is, three ODIs followed by three Test matches. Kane Williamson and co. will start their tour with a three-match T20 series. The opening game of the T20I series will be played on 31st October at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi. New Zealand will be keen to start their season on a decent note.
New Zealand have struggled in the T20 format after having won only three games out of ten played in 2018.
Kane Williamson will need to find form as he has struggled in the T20 format over past 12 months. He has only scored 191 runs from 12 games at an average of 17.36. Williamson certainly will need to raise his game for the T20I series to help New Zealand upstage Pakistan in the UAE.
There is little doubt that Colin Munro is New Zealand’s premier player in the T20 format. He will be keen to produce something special for New Zealand in the upcoming T20 series.
On the other hand, Pakistan has been in excellent in the shortest format of the game. The green shirts have notched up 11 wins out of 13 played since Jan 2018.
The culmination of the T20I series will be followed by three-match one-day series that will begin from 7th November. The opening game will be played at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi. The other two games will be played on 9th and 11th respectively.
New Zealand last played one-day cricket in Feb when competed against England in the five-match one-day series. Kane Williamson and co. will be keen to continue their good run of form in one-day cricket. New Zealand completed a 5-0 clean sweep over Pakistan in a one-day series played at home. They will have a decent chance of winning the one-day series against Pakistan, who recently played poorly in the Asia Cup.
Ross Taylor has been in tremendous form in the limited-overs format. He will certainly be a key player for New Zealand in the coming one-day series against Pakistan. Since Jan 2018, he has scored 478 runs from 8 matches at an average of 78.83 with two centuries to his name.
Kane Williamson has also produced decent numbers with the bat for the current year so far and has scored 440 runs from 9 matches at an average of 55 with two centuries to his name.
For Pakistan, Opener Fakhar Zaman has topped the batting charts for the current year. He has amassed 721 runs in 14 games at an average of 72.10 with two centuries to his name. He also became the first player to score a double-ton in limited-overs cricket during the one-day series against Zimbabwe played in Zimbabwe.
Shoaib Malik, Babar Azam, and Imam-ul-Haq also have been in decent form and will need to raise their game for the coming one-day series against New Zealand.
The conclusion of three-match one-day series will be followed by a three-match Test series that is slated to begin from 16th November. The opening game of the series will be played at Abu Dhabi. The second game will be played on 24th November at Dubai International Cricket Stadium while the third and final game of the series will be played on 3rd December at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi.
New Zealand last played a test series against Pakistan in UAE in 2014. The visitors produced a spirited performance and drew the three-match series 1-1. New Zealand have decent players in the batting lineup in Test cricket. Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls have cemented their place in the XI by producing credible performances over the past 18 months. Jeet Raval has been fairly steady as the opener for New Zealand.
New Zealand managed to beat England in the two-match Test series played in New Zealand earlier this year.
On the other hand, Pakistan played well in England and drew the two-match Test series. The side is certainly going through a transition phase after retirements of bigwigs like Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan. Haris Sohail and Imam-ul-Haq have done well for Pakistan in a short span of time.
Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq are bankable players for Pakistan in Test cricket. Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed will be looking that his side can maintain their proud record at home when they take on New Zealand in the three-match series.
New Zealand will present a stiff challenge to Pakistan as Kane Williamson and co. have been playing well across all three formats over the past 18 months