Pakistan vs New Zealand T20: A Preview of the Upcoming Series
Pakistan and New Zealand are set to face each other in a five-match T20 series in Pakistan from April 14 to April 24, 2023. This will be the first bilateral T20 series between the two teams since 2018, when Pakistan won 3-0 in the UAE. The series will also serve as a preparation for both teams ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia later that year.
Pakistan are currently ranked second in the ICC T20 rankings, behind England, and have won 10 of their last 12 T20 matches. They have a formidable batting line-up led by captain Babar Azam, who recently scored a century in the second T20 against New Zealand in Lahore. He is supported by Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Saim Ayub and Iftikhar Ahmed, who have all shown their ability to score big and fast. Pakistan's bowling attack is equally impressive, with Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah and Shadab Khan forming a potent pace-spin combination. Haris Rauf was the star of the show in the first T20 against New Zealand, taking four wickets for 18 runs and helping Pakistan win by 88 runs.
New Zealand, on the other hand, are ranked sixth in the ICC T20 rankings and have lost six of their last eight T20 matches. They are also missing some of their key players due to injury or unavailability, such as Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson. Their stand-in captain Tom Latham has a tough task of leading a relatively inexperienced side against a confident Pakistan team. New Zealand's batting relies heavily on Latham himself, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham and Mark Chapman, who have all scored half-centuries in recent matches. Their bowling is led by Ish Sodhi, who is the highest wicket-taker in T20Is in 2022 with 28 scalps. He is assisted by Adam Milne, Matt Henry and Rachin Ravindra, who have all shown some promise.
The series promises to be an exciting contest between two teams with contrasting styles and strengths. Pakistan will look to continue their dominance over New Zealand in T20 cricket and seal the series at home. New Zealand will look to bounce back from their recent losses and challenge Pakistan with their fighting spirit and resilience. The fans can expect some high-quality cricket and entertainment from both sides.