Pakistan is scheduled to tour New Zealand in the month of December and January to play three T20Is and two Tests, starting from 18th December. Pakistan and New Zealand will first lock horns in three-match T20I series.
The three T20I matches will be played at venues- Auckland, Hamilton and Napier on 18th, 20th and 22th December respectively.
Kylie Jamieson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Kane Williamson are currently playing the second Test match against West Indies at Wellington and will be available for New Zealand for the second and third game of the T20I series. Devon Conway, Mark Chapman and Blair Tickner have been named in the T20I squad for the opening encounter, while all-rounder Jacob Duffy has been included as a reserve.
On the other hand, Pakistan have announced their 18-member squad for the upcoming three-match T20I series. With Babar Azam ruled out of the T20Is, Shadab Khan will take over captaincy duties for Pakistan.
Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Wahab Riaz and Sarfaraz Ahmed are experienced players included in the T20I squad. Mohammad Rizwan is the first-choice keeper for the side for the three match series, while Usman Qadir, Abdullah Shafique and Khushdil Khan are promising players named in the T20I squad.
With New Zealand’s Test side currently playing West Indies in the second game of the series at Basin Reserve, premier players like Kane Williamson, Trent Boult and Tim Southee have been rested for the opening game of the T20I series against Pakistan.
Left-arm orthodox spinner Mitchell Santner will lead New Zealand for the opening game of the T20I series, while Kane Williamson will resume captaincy duties and lead the home side for the next two matches of the series.
Devon Conway, Blair Tickner and Doug Bracewell have been named in New Zealand’s T20I squad for the series against Pakistan.
The biggest surprise has come in form of experienced middle-order batsman Ross Taylor getting dropped from the T20I squad.
In the batting department, the side will be relying on the likes of Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson and Tim Seifert to do the bulk of the scoring.
Wicket-keeper Glenn Phillips has been in tremendous form with the bat and also smashed a quick-fire hundred for New Zealand in the previous T20I series against West Indies.
In the bowling department, the likes of Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Kylie Jamieson and Scott Kuggeleijn are four premier pace options for the T20I series.
Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi and Todd Astle are three spinners picked by selectors for the upcoming T20I series against Pakistan.
The conclusion of three-match T20I series will see Pakistan and New Zealand lock horns in a two-match Test series that is slated to begin from Boxing Day (26th December). The opening game of the Test series will be played at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, while the second and final game will be played at The Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
With Babar Azam named as new captain for Pakistan in Test cricket, it will interesting to see how the visitors fare against New Zealand in the upcoming two-match series.