Pakistan keen to carry current form into ODI series
Abu Dhabi: Pakistan may have set a record 11 consecutive T20I series wins after routing New Zealand 3-0, but their statistics in the one-day internationals (ODI) against the Black Caps have been awful.
The Green Brigade have lost 11 matches in a row against the Kiwis starting from 2014. They lost the last two matches of the 2014 series in the UAE and had to wash their hands off the five match series 3-2. They then lost two matches each in the 2015 and 2016 series in New Zealand before again losing an away series 5-0 in 2018.
Hence, Sarfraz Ahmad and his boys are more determined to end their winless streak riding on the momentum that they have gained from the T20 series win. “Yes, this series is very important for us and we also want to take the ODI team in the path of improvement and success. We will try to display good cricket and it is important keeping in mind the 2019 World Cup,” said Ahmad, adding that his side has 18 matches in hand ahead of the World Cup and their aim is to make the most of it.
“These 18 matches are crucial and our aim is to keep playing good cricket in all those matches. We have to focus solely on anything other than this series. Because after this, we have the South Africa tour and Test series before that. Then we have five ODIs against England and Australia each.
“The momentum that we are carrying into this contest — we should try and make it count. If we win from here, our confidence going to South Africa as an ODI team will be huge,” asserted Ahmad, who was of the view that New Zealand will be a hard nut to crack in this format despite showing fragility in their batting in the T20 series.
New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson has been ruled out of the ODIs with a heel injury and leg-spinner Todd Astle is also struggling with a knee problem. However, strike bowler Trent Bolt is back in the team, following the birth of his child.
Their captain Kane Williamson said: “It’s a new series and a fresh start. I guess the 11 wins is a nice stat to have but at the end of the day, come tomorrow, it’s what happens on the day and it’s really important we make some adjustments. The last time we played one-day cricket was back home in our conditions. Over here it’s slightly different and that’s why it’s important we look at our game and make the adjustments.”
The action starts at 3pm at the Shaikh Zayed Stadium.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Colin Munro, George Worker, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Todd Astle, Ajaz Patel, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.
Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Usman Khan Shinwari.