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Pakistan, New Zealand build towards World Cup with ODI series

article_imagePRE MATCH ANALYSIS
Last updated on 09 Jan 2023 | 03:20 AM
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Pakistan, New Zealand build towards World Cup with ODI series

The two sides will lock horns in a three-match ODI series to fine-tune their combinations ahead of the World Cup later this year

Pakistan and New Zealand will face off in the first of the three one-day internationals in Karachi Monday, with an eye on this year's World Cup in India.

The Test series held prior to this white-ball series failed to produce any result as both the Test matches ended in a thrilling draw, ending a miserable red-ball season for the two outfits. 

While the home team lost four of the eight Test matches played this season, New Zealand have failed to get over the line in their last six games. 

Babar Azam led side were whitewashed 3-0 by England, their first at home, and despite their lukewarm performances, the skipper is confident of turning things around in the limited-over series. 

"Pakistan has proved themselves to be a good white-ball team, and this series provides us a perfect launching pad to kickstart our World Cup preparations," said Azam of the World Cup in October-November," Babar said in the pre-match press conference. 

"We are a well-rounded side with solid batters and bowlers who have proved themselves time and again, so I am confident of doing well in the coming series," he further added. 

Pakistan will miss pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi, who is recovering from a knee injury sustained in November last year, while spin allrounder Shadab Khan is also out with a recent finger fracture.

New Zealand, runners-up in the last World Cup in 2019, won ten of their 16 ODIs last year and have a strong unit led by Kane Williamson. They have been dominant against Pakistan, having won 12 of the last 15 ODIs between the two teams.

"I felt that continuing to captain the white-ball formats was preferable with two World Cups in the next two years," he said last month, referring to the 2023 ODI and 2024 T20 World Cups after relinquishing his Test captaincy.

"Pakistan is a very strong side and naturally know these conditions very well. For us as a team it's focusing on the cricket we want to play and try put out some improved performances," he further added. 

New Zealand pacer Matt Henry is also out of ODIs with an abdominal strain sustained on the final day of the drawn second Test. 

The remaining matches are on Wednesday and Friday, also in Karachi.

Teams:

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (Captain), Tom Latham, Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Blair Tickner

Pakistan: Babar Azam (Captain), Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Agha Salman, Shahnawaz Dahani, Shan Masood, Tayyab Tahir, Usama Mir

(With inputs from AFP)

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