The Pakistan cricket team begins the year with a testing tour away to New Zealand. The men in green will be looking to carry their brilliant form in limited overs cricket in 2017 into 2018. 2017 saw nothing short of a renaissance in the shorter formats for Mickey Arthur’s team as a youthful, talented team started to mature and deliver results. The highlight of the year can be none other than winning the ICC Champions Trophy in England. The victory was made extra sweet as Pakistan comprehensively beat bitter rivals India in the final. Captain Sarfaraz and co. will be looking to kick on and create more magical moments this year as well.
The current New Zealand side possess a lot of talent and have demonstrated efficiency while defeating weaker sides than them. However, against the top teams, the Kiwis struggle to raise their game and are often found lacking. This lead to another mixed past year for the New Zealand side who have all the tools and yet, for whatever reason, have failed to break the glass ceiling which has stopped them from becoming one of the best teams in the world. The Kiwis will be determined to improve and become a truly dominant team this year because of this.
With both sides oozing with talent and determined to win, it is all set up to be a thrilling series.
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur on his team’s preparation: “We are going to cope really well here. We have a very balanced team and the players who have been selected all have a clear defined role within the side. The practice match will be quite important since it will be a very good rehearsal for the upcoming series.”
Gavin Larsen, New Zealand’s national selector, speaking during squad announcement:”Martin (Guptill) is a proven world-class player, so we’re naturally thrilled to have him back in the mix. He and Colin [Munro] have been strong for us at the top of the order.”
Pakistan vs New Zealand records
Pakistan wins: 53
New Zealand wins: 42
No results: 2
Pakistan wins: 8
New Zealand wins: 7
New Zealand (for first two ODI)s: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Doug Bracewell, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.
Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Fakhar Zaman, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Shadab Khan, Fahim Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Muhammad Amir, Rumman Raees.
Sat Jan 6 (50 ovs) 11:00 local (22:00 GMT -1d | 03:00 PKT)
1st ODI – New Zealand v Pakistan Basin Reserve, Wellington
Tue Jan 9 (50 ovs) 11:00 local (22:00 GMT -1d | 03:00 PKT)
2nd ODI – New Zealand v Pakistan Saxton Oval, Nelson
Sat Jan 13 (50 ovs) 11:00 local (22:00 GMT -1d | 03:00 PKT)
3rd ODI – New Zealand v Pakistan University Oval, Dunedin
Tue Jan 16 (50 ovs) 14:00 local (01:00 GMT | 06:00 PKT)
4th ODI – New Zealand v Pakistan Seddon Park, Hamilton
Fri Jan 19 (50 ovs) 11:00 local (22:00 GMT -1d | 03:00 PKT)
5th ODI – New Zealand v Pakistan Basin Reserve, Wellington
Mon Jan 22 (20 ovs) 16:00 local (03:00 GMT | 08:00 PKT)
1st T20I – New Zealand v Pakistan Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Thu Jan 25 (20 ovs) 19:00 local (06:00 GMT | 11:00 PKT)
2nd T20I – New Zealand v Pakistan Eden Park, Auckland
Sun Jan 28 (20 ovs) 19:00 local (06:00 GMT | 11:00 PKT)
3rd T20I – New Zealand v Pakistan Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
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