NZ V PAK

1st ODI – NEW ZEALAND VS PAKISTAN – FANTASY PREVIEW

After completing the home series against West Indies, New Zealanders begins their next home tour immediately and they set to face Pakistan in limited overs series. The limited overs tour starts with five match One-Day International series followed by three-match T20Is. Teams which are at 5th and 6th places respectively in the ICC ODI teams rankings faces eachother in this series. The 1st ODI between New Zealand vs Pakistan is scheduled to start at 11 AM Local | 3:30 AM IST on Saturday, 6th January 2018.

 

NEW ZEALAND :

The home team heading for this ODI series against Pakistan with lot of confidence after whitewashed West Indies across formats recently. New Zealand defeated West Indies 2-0 in tests, 3-0 in ODIs and 2-0 in T20Is. The regular skipper Kane Williamson returns to ODI squad and takes a role from stand-in skipper Tom Latham. Tim Southee who was rested for last two ODIs against West Indies, shined so well in the T20I series and picked 3 wickets each in both matches. He will join the force of New Zealand pace attack. Doug Bracewell has been ruled out for the first two matches with an hamstring injury. The all-rounder George Worker has been named as a replacement just a day before the match-day. Martin Guptill and Colin Munro were in firing form during the T20I series, especially Munro rocked with 2 half-centuries and a huge century in those three match series earlier this week.

The first choice opener Guptill found a form in the last game and scored 63 off 38 balls. As both of them in fine form, Worker will do a role of back-up opener in this series. Colin Munro’s scores in last 10 innings were 174*, 12, 47, 31, 49, 30, 21, 53, 66 and 104 runs respectively and that shows what kind of damage he will bring in this ODI on Saturday. Skipper Kane Williamson will bat at his usual position no. 3. He didn’t score a century in ODIs since Champions Trophy, but we can expect a century from him in this series. The former captain Ross Taylor had a good series against West Indies and scored 49*, 57 and 47* runs respectively. He will play a key role in this clash in Wellington on Saturday. Tom Latham is set to keep wickets behind the stumps once again and he will take care of middle-order batting too. He is yet to score a half-century in this home season, hopefully he will come with a good knock in this match. Henry Nicholls will keep his place at no. 6 in the batting order. The left-handed batsman used to play a handy knocks in slog overs and he will continue the same on Saturday too.

New Zealand set to play with two specialist spin all-rounders Mitchell Santner and Todd Astle. Santner offers left-arm spin while Astle bowls leg-break. Santner has played only the last ODI against West Indies and claimed three wickets in that game. Also, he bowled a very good spells in T20I series earlier this week. He is very handy with a bat as well. Todd Astle had a memorable debut series against West Indies which assured a place in the squad for this Pakistan series. Astle has picked 4 wickets and also scored 64 runs with a bat in that three ODIs against West Indies. The premium pacers Trent Boult and Tim Southee will lead the bowling attack once again. Boult was on-fire against West Indies and picked 10 wickets in just 3 matches, which includes a spell of 7 for 34 in the second ODI. The experiences of Southee will come into play and his recent performances in the T20I series will help him to shine well in this game. Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry are other two pacers available in the squad. Either one of them will take a 3rd pacer role for this game, Ferguson could be front-runner.

 

PAKISTAN :

Pakistan toured New Zealand for 12 times in a past and they won ODI series only twice. Their most recent triumph came in 2010/11 season. After that series win in New Zealand, Pakistan has traveled twice in 2014/15 and 2015/16 season and lost both the series with whitewash. Sarfraz Ahmed led-side has a goal to win the series down under, especially after the triumph in Champions Trophy last year. This will Pakistan’s first overseas assignment since Champions Trophy in June 2017. Pakistan had a good warm-up game against New Zealand and won that game by 120 runs. The openers Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman put up 200+ runs for the first-wicket partnership and both of them scored respective centuries. After their impressive performances, both of them will keep a place in the top order safely. That means, Imam-ul-Haq who started his ODI career with a century on debut against Sri Lanka few months ago, has to wait for his opportunities.

Mohammad Hafeez faced a ban to bowl due to suspect bowling action and he set to play this series as a specialist batsman. The experienced Hafeez was in a good form in recent times and he has to lead the middle-order batting in this game. The batting sensation of Pakistan, Babar Azam dismissed for just 6 runs in the warm-up, but he will come back stronger on Saturday. The 23-years old has 7 centuries and 7 half-centuries in his short 36 matches ODI career. This away tour will be the real testing time for Babar and he is expected to overcome the challenges successfully in this game. Shoaib Malik who are playing One-day internationals for more than 18-years, will play a key role for Pakistan in this series. Malik is the most experienced batsman in the squad and he has played 257 ODIs till date. He had a very good series against Sri Lanka in UAE and also played a key role in BPL last month. Keeps an eye on Shoaib Malik and he deserves a place in your fantasy teams. It seems Haris Sohail has to wait more for his opportunities on the tour.

Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed will bat at no. 6 and also will take care of wicket-keeper’s duties. He was in poor form for long time now, hopes for some good show from him on this tour. The young and dynamic leg-spin all rounder Shadab Khan will play a huge role with both bat and bowl in this series. Shadab already has 19 scalps in his 12 ODI appearances for Pakistan. The 19-years old also shines with a bat whenever he gets an opportunity to bat. The seam bowling all-rounders Faheem Ashraf and Aamer Yamin in the 15-man squad. Faheem has a bright opportunities to get a place in the XI ahead of Aamer Yamin who played his last ODI in 2015. Mohammad Nawaz has a less chances to be in the playing XI on seam bowling-friendly New Zealand pitches. The no. 1 ODI bowler in the ICC Ranking Hasan Ali, the speedster Mohammad Amir and Rumman Raees will take care of the pace attack in this game in Wellington. Hasan Ali has emerged himself as an all-rounder in recent times and playing a handy knocks with a bat. In a warm-up game, Hasan has scored 36 off just 15 balls. He will lead the bowling attack with his accurate seam and swing. Amir didn’t play an ODI game since Champions Trophy final in June 2017. He struggled to pick wickets in some of recent matches, hopefully he will shine with a bowl on Saturday. Rumman Raees is the third seamer and he was impressive with 6 wickets in 4 ODI matches in 2017.

 

KEY PLAYERS :

NEW ZEALAND :

  • Colin Munro
  • Kane Williamson
  • Martin Guptill
  • Ross Taylor
  • Tom Latham
  • Mithell Santner
  • Tim Southee
  • Trent Boult

 

PAKISTAN :

  • Mohammad Hafeez
  • Azhar Ali
  • Babar Azam
  • Shoaib Malik
  • Sarfraz Ahmed
  • Shadab Khan
  • Hasan Ali
  • Mohammad Amir

 

POSSIBLE LINEUPS :

NEW ZEALAND :

1. Martin Guptill, 2. Colin Munro, 3. Kane Williamson, 4. Ross Taylor, 5. Tom Latham, 6. Henry Nicholls, 7. Mitchell Santner, 8. Todd Astle, 9. Tim Southee, 10. Lockie Ferguson, 11. Trent Boult.

 

PAKISTAN :

1. Azhar Ali, 2. Fakhar Zaman, 3. Babar Azam, 4. Mohammad Hafeez, 5. Shoaib Malik, 6. Sarfraz Ahmed, 7. Shadab Khan, 8. Fahim Ashraf, 9. Hasan Ali, 10. Mohammad Amir, 11. Rumman Raees.

 

 

 

Anand Thiyagarajan

Cricket is what everyone loves. If you’re ready to play fantasy cricket but don’t know how to analyze players, consider his Articles as the foundation of your fantasy teams. Anand is a cricket blogger and fantasy cricket lover.

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