New Zealand are in Pakistan for three ODIs and five T20s. James Richardson previews the first ODI which is set to take place in Rawalpindi.
The hosts are expected to triumph comfortably, but their recent experiences in the 50-over format make that tag sit uneasily even against an inexperienced Black Caps side.
Pakistan vs New Zealand | 17 September 2021 | Rawalpindi Club Ground | 11:30
To Win Match
New Zealand 23/10
Pakistan haven’t played a lot of ODI cricket since the 2019 World Cup and their form in the format has been patchy. They followed up a series win over South Africa in April by suffering a whitewash at the hands of a second-string England team in July.
The team are yet to figure out how to configure their stars to get the most out of them in this format.
Mohammad Rizwan has been excellent across all formats and is likely to play a big part in the outcome of this series.
Pakistan’s bowling is their strength and in home conditions, they will provide a stern test for a New Zealand side that has little experience in Asia and virtually none in Pakistan itself.
The team fielded in this series is likely to be similar to the ones trotted out to face Bangladesh in a T20I series defeat.
This series does offer a chance for the young batsmen, in particular, to show they can learn quickly and are cut out for international cricket.
Tom Latham will skipper New Zealand and is likely to open the batting. The Black Caps captain will need to be the glue holding the top-order together.
Veteran allrounder Colin de Grandhomme has reached the point where he needs to start delivering the goods, as he cannot be a bit-part player in a team this inexperienced.
Verdict: Pakistan 34/100
Pakistan should triumph comfortably in home conditions against a second-string New Zealand outfit.