Pakistan a good team on home ground: Jimmy Neesham

First T20I between Pak vs NZ to kick off at 9pm today

Faizan Lakhani
Jimmy Neesham. — Photo by author
Jimmy Neesham. — Photo by author

LAHORE: Experienced all-rounder Jimmy Neesham feels that New Zealand will have to be on top of their game if they want to get an edge over Pakistan in the upcoming white-ball series which comprises five T20Is and as many ODIs.

Speaking to Geo News in Lahore ahead of the first T20I, Neesham said that Pakistan is really a good team in their home conditions.

“Pakistan are a really good team in their own conditions and we have to be on top of our game to come out on top of the series and hopefully we can use the experiences that a few of us have recently in these conditions,” the 32-year-old said.

The Kiwi all-rounder was also a part of the Peshawar Zalmi squad in the recently-concluded Pakistan Super League (PSL) and played in Lahore last month. 

The Auckland-born cricketer had also shared a dressing room with Pakistan’s skipper Babar Azam during the tournament.

“I played a few games here during the PSL a month or so ago, I think the feel of the atmosphere has changed a little bit, it's obviously a lot warmer than it was at that time. So essentially a little bit more on offer for the bowlers as far as swing and that kind of thing,” said Neesham.

“We've had a bit of success in this format over the last six or eight years and we know how we operate, and especially in these conditions, as well, it'll be about sticking to those plans, and we're expecting quite high scoring encounters on what looks like a good wicket. 

So, especially for the bowling attack, it's about maintaining composure and trying to you know limit those big overs,” said Neesham, who has represented New Zealand in 71 ODIs and 63 T20Is.

Replying to a question, the New Zealand all-rounder said that the nature of cricket is such that there's no perfect plan for any batter and all plans sort of have positives and negatives

“We can only come up with theories but at the end of the day, it is up to the execution of the bowlers and sometimes potentially a bit of luck as well. So, we will go out there with good intentions and, and having plans in place,” he said. “But, the nature of players of the quality of Babar Azam is that sometimes the best plans don't work. So, we just got to try and put our best foot forward and see what happens.”

Talking about the lack of experience in the touring squad, the New Zealander said that the team has got a lot of enthusiastic guys in the group who are keen to get out there and make the mark on international cricket.

“It's great for the culture of the group as well to have that injection of young talent and young passion and hopefully they get a chance to impress and show their wares in the next few days,” he concluded.