A thriller of a contest in-store as the Group 2 leaders are set to lock horns with the 2021 ICC Test World Champions, New Zealand, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, this Tuesday.
The Men in Green will be making a quick reappearance but they would not mind that given their exemplary form and domination against team India in the Group 2 opener, they would be looking forward to continuing the winning mojo and cementing a place at the top of the table.
Pakistan batting consultant Matthew Hayden reviews team's historic win against India, his experience of being part of the dressing room and the journey ahead. #WeHaveWeWill #T20WorldCup pic.twitter.com/TptBDBXCKq— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) October 25, 2021
The kiwis on the other hand will be playing their first match of the tournament. However, they might be feeling a bit of confidence as they were handed defeats in both their warm-up games against Australia and England respectively.
Two teams who have an incredible resilience towards the game. Can the Pakistani side score back-to-back win? Or will the Test champions stamp their authority on the shortest format as well?
Match Toss Time: 17:30 Local (19:00 IST)
Match Start Time: 18:00 Local (19:30 IST)
Match Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
Head to Head
Matches played: 24, Pakistan: 14, New Zealand: 10
Weather conditions and pitch
Pakistan would be more than happy to feature the same Xl that registered their first-ever win against India in World Cups and there seems great chemistry within the players that would be better if left unchanged.
New Zealand may not be at their best but definitely are not at rest, the team consists of some of the greatest players of the shortest format and with Kyle Jamieson struggling to make any impact, Lockie Ferguson looks to have cemented his place in the combination.
Probable playing Xl
Pakistan (PAK): Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi
New Zealand (NZ): Tim Seifert (wk), Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson (c), Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi
The Pakistani skipper Babar Azam and kiwi opener Martin Guptill are undoubtedly one of the players of the T20 format and they are expected to play crucial roles for their sides in the all-important encounter.
In addition to the openers, destructive kiwi batsman Devon Conway and all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez are too expected to boost your fantasy team.
PAK vs NZ fantasy team
Captain and Vice-captain picks
Pakistan looks like the team to beat now as they showed great character and dominance against the hot favorites, India. Pakistan have justified their claim of UAE being their second home and for that reason, the rusty looking New Zealand side will have to play out of their skins, if they are to defeat Babar Azam and Co.
Pakistan looks well balanced and they seem to be a team on a mission. The Kiwis apart from a couple of players are still just getting used to the conditions and yes the kiwis could be strong contenders for the top four finish but given the players are just adjusting to the environment, we feel they might just find the going difficult against Pakistan.
Cricwizz predicts Pakistan to win the match and retain the top spot.
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