Pakistan vs New Zealand 1st ODI: Preview, conditions, TV listing
Pakistan will hope to replicate their T20I form into the ODIs when they square off against New Zealand in the first match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. Pakistan overpowered Australia and New Zealand in successive T20I series and have momentum with them. On the other hand, New Zealand have been rusty in recent past and Pakistan will look to dominate proceedings.
Pakistan will look to bounce back from the Asia Cup 2018 setback, where they bowed out rather sheepishly. The tourney will give Pakistan a chance to identify who would be their third seamer. As of now, Junaid Khan will look to seal this spot. The form of Zaman will be another issue to address for the side. Zaman is crucial for this side atop.
New Zealand have their own set of challenges. The T20I series was a disaster, which has raised several questions for Williamson and Co. Once again, the battle will be fought between Pakistan's spinners against New Zealand's middle order. Can the Black Caps show application on the pitch? In terms of bowling, the Kiwis look strong, which would give them confidence.
In this crucial phase, the Kiwis need Kane Williamson to lead from the front and play a match-winning innings. The Black Caps skipper is the side's best bet with the bat and plays spin well. He can set the tempo for his side. Shaheen Afridi was terrific in the T20Is and the youngster will aim to be the thorn for the Kiwis, once again.
New Zealand skipper, Williamson said, "They are always a strong side and no matter the format. They have a lot of depth. We simply know they have been here for some time and they know these conditions. We are in here for a tough battle."
The highest score at this stadium, this year, is 258 runs. The pitch will have something for the bowlers. Teams have struggled to chase at this venue. There were some close battles in the Asia Cup. The match is set to start at 4:30 PM IST and will be telecast live on the Sony Ten network. We expect a close encounter.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Usman Khan. New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling, George Worker