In the series versus New Zealand, experienced players will have an advantage: Zaman Khan
New Zealand pacer Adam Milne is preparing for the eagerly anticipated tour of Pakistan by excelling in the limited-overs series with the Green Shirts in order to qualify for the ICC World Cup in India later this year.
The right-armer, who has played 42 ODIs and 38 T20Is in his international career, is traveling to Pakistan for the first time.
“I’d love to be a part of the World Cup team. The Pakistan one-dayers are obviously a good test in sub-continent conditions, so if you can perform there then you put yourself in with a chance to get picked which I’d love to do,” Milne said in an interview with Radio New Zealand.
In an effort to restore himself on the international stage, Milne, who just underwent surgery for various injuries, including achilles and hamstring, is concentrating on one game at a time.
“I’ve had a bit of a past with injuries so it’s definitely one game at a time for me,”he said.
“I’m just trying to enjoy playing for New Zealand and so the tour of Pakistan will hopefully give me that opportunity. I’m just trying to keep on top of the body, keep it strong and healthy.
“The more I play games the more consistent my bowling gets so it’s just trying to find those ways to keep me on the park…it’s just about being smart with my body.”
Before the series, on April 13, the Black Caps will start training after arriving in Lahore on Tuesday.
Both the ODI and T20I teams for the Pakistani series have been named at full strength. Along with Shaheen Shah Afridi, the head of Pakistan’s bowling assault, regular captain Babar Azam returns.
Other seasoned players, like Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, and Haris Rauf, have returned after the break they received during the recently finished three-match T20I series against Afghanistan.
While this is going on, New Zealand has been obliged to select a severely diminished team because the majority of their top players are involved in the IPL. They will be led in both forms by Tom Latham, who last led them in T20Is in 2021.
With the help of Saqlain Mushtaq, who led the Pakistani team as head coach until two months ago, New Zealand will be able to build on the expertise they received during their ODI series victory in Pakistan earlier this year. As an assistant coach, Saqlain has joined the New Zealand team.
In light of the return of important players, Zaman, who made his international debut during the Afghanistan series, thinks Pakistan will be a much stronger team and anticipates a better showing against New Zealand.
“Against Afghanistan, the conditions were a bit different and the players were new. In the New Zealand series, we will have the home advantage as well as our senior players.”
“If you have the likes of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan in the team, it boosts the confidence of all the other players and winning matches becomes considerably easy,” Zaman was quoted as saying by ICC.com.
Even though Zaman only had two wickets against Afghanistan in three games, the 21-year-old nonetheless made it into Pakistan’s 16-man T20 squad for New Zealand’s trip to Asia.
Whether or not that is enough to get him a berth in the starting XI for the series, Zaman is delighted to be competing with a lot of frontline bowlers.
PAK v NZ, 2023 T20I squad: Full team list and team news for Pakistan v New Zealand T20Is
Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan (vc), 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, Zaman Khan
New Zealand: Tom Latham (c), Mark Chapman, Matt Henry, Cole McConchie, Daryl Mitchell, Rachin Ravindra, Ish Sodhi, Will Young, Chad Bowes, Dane Cleaver, Ben Lister, Adam Milne, James Neesham, Henry Shipley, Blair Tickner
PAK v NZ, 2023 ODI squad: Full team list and team news for Pakistan v New Zealand ODIs
Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan (vc), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Ihsanullah, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Usama Mir
New Zealand: Tom Latham (c), Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell, Cole McConchie, Daryl Mitchell, Rachin Ravindra, Ish Sodhi, Will Young, Chad Bowes, Ben Lister, Adam Milne, James Neesham, Henry Shipley, Blair Tickner