PAK vs NZ 1st ODI Dream11 Prediction & Fan2Play Possible Playing 11 Pitch Report | PAK vs NZ 1st ODI Dream11 Prediction Today | Pakistan vs New Zealand 1st ODI Key Players | Rawalpindi Pitch Report
The packed cricketing calendar leaves little room for matches with no context. Given the absence of DRS here, this series is no longer part of the ODI Super League.
So, this places emphasises on players gaining international experience and form. This is particularly the case for New Zealand, who come into the series with a significantly inexperienced side. However, they had some fine moments in foreign conditions in their recent T20I series against Bangladesh, and a number of their players will be aiming to stake their claim for more international cricket in the future.
For Pakistan, this series provides an opportunity to right the wrongs of a disappointing England series earlier this year. They will come up against an understrength side again, but the importance of this series for the home side lies in their need to sort out their middle order issues. They have made some key squad changes in this area, and will be looking for the complete performance at Rawalpindi.
Key Players to Watch/Key Stats
- Skipper Babar Azam struck a half-century and century at Rawalpindi vs Zimbabwe; a total of 221 runs at an average of 110.50 and strike rate of 101.84 in three ODIs. He loves batting on this ground, with a superb record overall in List A cricket: 8 inns, 575 runs, avg. 82.14, 3 100s, 2 50s.
- Babar averages 41.50 in 11 ODIs against New Zealand, who will now be without their key stars. Also, Babar loves batting first in ODIs, averaging 62.10 compared to 51.52 batting second.
- Will we see the best of Fakhar Zaman in this series? He has scored 313 runs in eight matches vs NZ at an average of 44.71 and strike rate of 85.75. Also, Fakhar averages 50.26 batting first (24 innings), compared to 44.96 batting second (29 innings).
- Mohammad Rizwan has been one of Pakistan’s linchpins in 2021, although his ODI form hasn’t been too flash this year. In six innings, he has struck just 134 runs at an average of 22.33. Also, Rizwan will be aiming to improve his average batting in the second innings of ODIs (24.93), which is quite lower than batting first (33.21).
- Shaheen Shah Afridi has enjoyed plenty of success against New Zealand thus far. The left-arm pacer has taken 12 wickets in four ODIs against them at an average of 10.83. Shaheen averages 23.46 bowling first in ODIs compared to 26.38 bowling second.
- Hasan Ali is conceding runs at 7.08 per over in ODIs this year. He will be looking to replicate his good T20 form in 2021 (30 wickets in 21 matches) into the ODI format.
- Also, Hasan Ali much prefers to bowl first in ODIs. He averages 22.95 in 28 such ODIs, compared to 45.64 in 28 ODIs bowling second.
- Henry Nicholls’ experience will be important for New Zealand. He has struck three fifties in nine ODI innings’ vs Pakistan (238 runs overall, avg. 34.00).
- Finn Allen is set to make his ODI debut. While his List A average of 25.25 can do with improvement, his strike rate of 103.94 indicates the kind of damage he can do at the top of the order. He scored a 24-ball 41 in the last T20I vs Bangladesh.
- Tom Latham has a poor ODI record vs Pakistan. For New Zealand to be as competitive as possible, skipper Latham needs to turn the following numbers around: 14 inns, 238 runs, avg. 19.83.
- Also, Latham typically performs better whilst chasing. He averages 38.45 in 52 such ODIs, compared 30.45 in 50 ODIs batting first.
- Matt Henry has a fine record vs Pakistan. In nine matches, he has notched up 20 wickets at an average of 21.50. Also, he generally performs well in ODIs whether he bowls first or second (avg. 24.70 bowling first vs 27.36 bowling second).
- Ajaz Patel was impressive in the recent T20I series against Bangladesh, but New Zealand will need further control and consistency in conditions expected to be less conducive to such spin.
Stats and Facts
- The last meeting between the two teams was in the 2019 World Cup. Pakistan won by six wickets, with Babar Azam winning player of the match thanks to his superb 101*. The out-of-form Colin de Grandhomme scored 64 in that same game.
- There have been just three ODIs played at Rawalpindi since 2006: all Pakistan vs Zimbabwe in 2020.
- The last ODI at Rawalpindi was a thriller. Blessing Muzarabani held his nerve to seal a Super Over victory for Zimbabwe.
Possible Playing 11
The likes of Khushdil Shah are in the Pakistan squad. Shah could slot in at five – a position held by Sohaib Maqsood in England.
Pakistan: 1. Fakhar Zaman, 2. Imam-ul-Haq, 3. Babar Azam (c), 4. Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 5. Khushdil Shah, 6. Saud Shakeel, 7. Faheem Ashraf, 8. Hasan Ali, 9. Shadab Khan/Usman Qadir, 10. Shaheen Shah Afridi, 11. Haris Rauf/Shahnawaz Dahani
Tom Blundell is out of the series with a quadricep injury sustained in Bangladesh. Daryl Mitchell will join the squad, but not in time for the first ODI due to isolation. Expect Henry Nicholls, Will Young and Tom Latham to bat in their usual ODI positions, with Rachin Ravindra likely to bat at three.
New Zealand: 1. Finn Allen, 2. Henry Nicholls, 3. Rachin Ravindra, 4. Will Young, 5. Tom Latham (c & wk), 6. Colin de Grandhomme, 7. Cole McConchie, 8. Scott Kuggeleijn, 9. Ajaz Patel, 10. Hamish Bennett/Blair Tickner, 11. Matt Henry
Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium Pitch Report and Weather
Rawalpindi is generally a nice batting surface. The average first innings score in Zimbabwe’s tour of Pakistan last year was 255 in three ODIs. The team batting first won two of those three matches.
In the Pakistan Cup List A competition in 2019, the average first innings score was 318.67. Despite the high scores, the chasing team still won five of the 10 completed matches.
A sunny and very warm, humid day is forecast for Rawalpindi. Chasing may be the order of the day if dew sets in later in the evening.
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Pakistan at near full strength, at home, should be too strong for a very inexperienced Black Caps team.