Pakistan vs New Zealand: What strategy should Pak adopt against NZ in first ODI?
Pakistan and New Zealand will play their first ODI of the three ODIs on Friday at Pindi Cricket Stadium. The match is slated to start at 02;30pm local time.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced the Playing XII for the first ODI yesterday. According to the announced squad, at least two wrist-spinners from Pakistan’s side will be playing against New Zealand.
Along with the team’s vice-captain, Shadab Khan, Usman Qadir and Zahid Mehmood have been included in the squad as spinners.
Aside from Shadab, at least one additional wrist-spinner will be seen in play on Friday. However, the inclusion of all three wrist-spinners in the series opener cannot be ruled out, although it would mostly rely on the state of the wicket in the day-night match.
‘Pitch will be dry’, says report
A curator at the Pindi Cricket Stadium said, “The pitch will be dry to start with as well as helpful for the spinners but you never know in a day-night game what would be there. Seamers’ role becomes all the more important under the lights under these heavy conditions. So, to go with three spinners and two seamers will never be a good option.”
The best option for Pakistan would be three seamers and two wrist-spinners. This means that one of the wrist-spinners Usman and Zahid will be the 12th man, he added.
Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, and Haris Rauf are expected to be the best options for pacers.
“It is a three-match series and we may see some changes for the next two matches. At the moment, we see that these 12 are the best for the series opener,” a team official said.
The national team played a scenario-based practice match in which all 12 members were given an equal chance to show their skills. 45 overs were bowled during the practice match on Wednesday evening.
‘Babar has the power to name the Playing XI’
Skipper Babar Azam was given the authority to choose the Playing XI for the first ODI against Black Caps.
“Babar has all the powers to shortlist names and then to name the playing XI,” a PCB official said.
The Black Caps had the day off on Wednesday and preferred to stay in the hotel rooms.
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