Full strength Pakistan to take on inexperienced New Zealand in first T20I

This will be Pakistan's first T20I game since October of last year when they took on England in T20 World Cup final

By
Sports Desk
New Zealand captain Tom Latham and Pakistan skipper Babar Azam. — PCB
New Zealand captain Tom Latham and Pakistan skipper Babar Azam. — PCB 

  • Pakistan have defeated New Zealand four times in last five matches.
  • New Zealand will be playing their first T20I in Pakistan today.
  • It is a great feeling to be back in Lahore in Pakistan colours, says Babar Azam. 


LAHORE: A full-strength Pakistan team led by Babar Azam will take on a young New Zealand team in the first of the five T20I at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

This will be the Men in Green’s first T20I game since October of last year when they took on England in the T20 World Cup final.

However, Pakistan will be going into the match with an advantage as they have won 10 of the 18 matches at the Gaddafi Stadium since 2015. Apart from this, Pakistan also has an upper hand as they have defeated New Zealand four times in the last five matches.

“It is a great feeling to be back in Lahore in Pakistan colours. This promises to be an exciting series as we bring the exciting young talent and the experience of senior players together in this solid squad,” Babar Azam was quoted by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in a press release.

For the Kiwis, it is unchartered territory as they have never played a T20I in Pakistan. They will hope to bank on the experience of their recent tour of Karachi when they played two Tests and three ODIs across December and January.

“It is an exciting tour for our side and we know we’re coming up against a quality Pakistan team who will be a huge challenge. We’re obviously missing a few of our senior players, but that’s going to offer opportunities to others and I know the team are really looking forward to testing themselves,” said Blackcaps captain Tom Latham.

The New Zealand skipper admitted that the conditions were “completely different” for them and they will try to “adapt as quickly as possible”.

Gaddafi Stadium will stage T20I matches on April 14, 15 and 17 before the action shifts to Rawalpindi where the last two games of the series will be played on April 20 and 24.

Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood and Zaman Khan

New Zealand squad: Tom Latham (captain, wk), Chad Bowes, Mark Chapman, Dane Cleaver, Matt Henry, Ben Lister, Adam Milne, Cole McConchie, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Rachin Ravindra, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner, Will Young