Pakistan vs New Zealand 1st ODI: Preview and Prediction
New Zealand somehow managed to save the T20I series and will be now heading toward the next chapter of their mesmerizing limited-overs campaign on Pakistani soil. The opening battle of the ODI series between these two giant white-ball nations will be played at the iconic Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium this thriving Thursday.
Mark Chapman has been rewarded with a call-up to the Blackcaps ODI unit amidst a nine-month halt after emerging as the Player of the Series in the same tour and is expected to directly walk into the playing XI.
Tom Blundell and Henry Nicholls are other Kiwi stars who will be joining the NZ camp in Rawalpindi ahead of the ODI series. Meanwhile, the 31-year-old wicketkeeping batter Dane Cleaver has been left out of the 50-over roster and will be the only one to fly back home.
The youngster Mohammad Haris who got out on a golden duck in the final T20I while batting at number three has been included in the ODI roster to make a 17-member Pakistan squad. Haris has got the nod ahead of Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Saim Ayub and Zaman Khan who will be departing from the Greens’ dressing room.
Pakistan has also bolstered their squad with the additions of names like Haris Sohail, Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, and Salman Ali Agha to begin the 50-over campaign with a refreshing approach.
What have they done so far?
The Men in Green kick-started the five-match T20I campaign with a bang and went on to win the opening two fixtures played at the Gaddafi Stadium of Lahore. They registered a thumping 88-run victory in the series-opener clash where the bowling unit of the Shaheens restricted the hosts to 94 runs while defending the first-innings total of 182 runs.
Meanwhile, the following fixture witnessed the Pakistani skipper Babar Azam bringing up his T20I career’s third ton with an incredible knock of unbeaten 101 runs from 58 balls.
It was the exact moment when the Kiwi gaffer Gary Stead issued a wake-up call to his roster as the NZ side proceeded to stage a remarkable turnaround in the series. The Blackcaps successfully defended the target of 164 runs in a nail-biting contest and emerged victorious in the final game of the Lahore leg.
After the fourth T20I was abandoned mid-way, Mark Chapman became the hero of the Kiwi camp in the fifth T20I smashing his maiden century in the format which eventually forced the Shaheens to share the trophy despite taking an early lead.
Head to Head record
These two combating nations have squared off against each other on 110 occasions in the 50-over format and its head-to-head record currently belongs to the Men in Green with 56 triumphs.
Meanwhile, the Blackcaps are also not much far behind and currently stand on 50 wins consisting of 31 home, 5 away and 14 neutral venue victories. Surprisingly, the Kiwis are leading the head-to-head series by 14-7 and haven’t lost a bilateral encounter with the Cornered Tigers since 2011.
The most recent chapter of this rivalry occurred in January 2023 when the full-strength Men in Black side toured Pakistan for a three-match ODI saga on a solitary venue of Karachi’s National Stadium.
Babar Azam and his Green Boys also commenced that series with a win but couldn’t sustain the winning run furthermore and ended up on the losing side. The 26-year-old wicket-keeper batter Glenn Phillips delivered a match-winning knock in the third ODI to win the decider contest with a minimal margin of 2 wickets.
Haris Rauf: Pakistan’s premier white-ball speedster had a forgettable individual outing during the previous series with New Zealand after being able to fetch only a solitary wicket from three appearances.
However, the 29-year-old who will be playing in front of his home crowd has regained his form at the correct time. Rauf was the highest wicket-taker of the T20I series scalping 11 wickets in five appearances and must be looking forward to continuing it in the longer format as well.
Mark Chapman: The Hong Kong-born batter turned out to be one of the primary reasons behind the Blackcaps being able to hold the home team for a draw in the recently concluded T20I saga.
Chapman’s tally of 290 runs consisting of two half-centuries and one century in five innings was the highest in the series while the opposition bowling unit only managed to dismiss him once in the series. He has been added to the ODI roster as a wildcard entry as a reward for his ground-breaking performance in the absence of first-choice players.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam ©, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf
New Zealand: Tom Latham © (wk), Will Young, Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman, Henry Nicholls, James Neesham Rachin Ravindra, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Matt Henry, Blair Tickner
Pakistan is the ultimate favorite to win the opening game and also stands on brighter chances to lift the silverware owing to the aspects such as home conditions and the availability of a full-strength squad.
Meanwhile, the Kiwis will be turning up for the forthcoming series as underdogs as most of their first-choice options are unavailable due to the ongoing IPL. However, the Shaheens should not underestimate the strength of the Blackcaps who have already blown off the confidence of the Men in Green in the T20I series.