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HomeCricBlogPakistan vs New Zealand 1st ODI Preview + Dream11

Pakistan vs New Zealand 1st ODI Preview + Dream11



Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

Image credit: Pakistan Cricket

There are some things in life that are just difficult to explain. Why are more people right handed than left? Why do we dream? Why is there such a disparity between Pakistan in T20Is and ODIs?

Pakistan seem unstoppable in T20Is, especially in the UAE. They have won 11 successive T20I series, which includes 28 wins out of 32 since World T20 2016. However, ODIs are a different story, and they will come up against New Zealand who have beaten them 11 times in a row in this format.

Can New Zealand make it 12 and pick up their first win of the tour against Pakistan?

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Pakistan’s conundrum is indeed a head scratcher. For all their fantastic T20I exploits, they have struggled in ODIs, losing 17 out of 21 ODIs against Australia, England, India, South Africa and New Zealand in the last two years. Three of these wins came during their amazing Champions Trophy win, but it is now time for Pakistan to consistently step up against the higher ranked sides with a World Cup around the corner.

New Zealand, coming off a disappointing, but not entirely deserving, 3-0 loss in the T20Is, gear up against a side they love. Their run of 11 straight wins against Pakistan includes a 5-0 whitewash in New Zealand at the start of the year, and with the Kiwis possessing good balance in their side, they can back themselves to get their first win on tour. Will they avoid any significant batting collapses, and maintain the pressure on a Pakistan side coming off a disappointing Asia Cup campaign?

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Key to a Pakistan win

In their poor Asia Cup campaign, Pakistan lacked stability with the bat and penetration with the ball. It seems that in ODIs, Pakistan struggle to maintain good periods of play for any extended amount of time, in contrast to T20Is where they beat their opponents on the basis of greater scoring pressures.
In ODIs, New Zealand will have greater opportunity to accumulate and work the ball around, so how will Pakistan get their wickets? Can Pakistan dent New Zealand in the powerplay, followed by proactive cricket in the middle overs to try get wickets through their spinners? The likes of Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan were strong in the T20Is, but can they be as effective in the longer format? In the Asia Cup, Sarfraz Ahmed went on the defensive too quickly at times, and if the same is the case here, New Zealand will construct a very competitive total. 

Key to a New Zealand win

The Black Caps had their moments in the T20Is, but couldn’t capitalise, rounded off with an extraordinary collapse in the final match.

In Colin Munro, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, New Zealand possess a top four that strikes excellent balance between power and panache. It is safe to say that New Zealand’s top order effort could decide the game, as they can push Pakistan onto the defensive early and set up a strong total. With Colin de Grandhomme’s love affair with Pakistan, New Zealand have power in the middle order, despite Corey Anderson’s omission from the squad due to a heel injury.

Also, with the ball, can New Zealand exploit Pakistan’s shaky batting in ODIs? Against a side that is confused at times over what batting approach they should take, New Zealand have the opportunity to force get-out-of-jail shots from the Pakistanis looking to release the pressure. India were very good in doing this in the Asia Cup, and with the likes of Trent Boult, Trent Southee and Ish Sodhi, New Zealand have the ingredients to further exploit Pakistan’s inability at times to effectively rotate strike.

Possible XIs 

For Pakistan, what will the pace attack look like? Junaid Khan was impressive in his appearance in the Asia Cup, and deserves a chance. With Shaheen Afridi also impressing recently, will that mean Hasan Ali misses out, with Pakistan playing two left arm seamers?
Pakistan possible XI: 1. Imam ul Haq, 2. Fakhar Zaman, 3. Babar Azam, 4. Shoaib Malik, 5. Mohammad Hafeez, 6. Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), 7. Faheem Ashraf, 8. Imad Wasim, 9. Shadab Khan, 10. Hasan Ali, 11. Shaheen Afridi/Junaid Khan
For New Zealand, Trent Boult returns after missing the T20Is due to paternity leave. Corey Anderson is out of the squad, and Todd Astle is under an injury cloud, but could be passed fit. Whether Lockie Ferguson will get a run remains to be seen.
New Zealand possible XI: 1. Tom Latham (wk), 2. Colin Munro, 3. Kane Williamson (c), 4. Ross Taylor, 5. Henry Nicholls, 6. Colin de Grandhomme, 7. Todd Astle, 8. Tim Southee, 9. Ish Sodhi, 10. Ajaz Patel, 11. Trent Boult


Abu Dhabi is a ground not known for big totals, but blasting teams out is also a challenge. My Dream11 side is below, with a few pointers.
  • Newly appointed committee chairman Mohsin Khan has suggested Sarfraz Ahmed should be relieved of the captaincy in one format. This could stir Ahmed on, who is need of runs in the format.
  • Two of New Zealand’s top four make my side, with Kane Williamson my captain.
  • Imam-ul-Haq offers good value.
  • Colin de Grandhomme has a superb record against Pakistan, and Mohammad Hafeez has been in fine touch.
  • The two wristspinners have wicket taking potential, and I believe Junaid Khan will get a chance and threaten right throughout the innings.

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Stats and Facts

  • New Zealand have won 11 straight ODIs against Pakistan, including both series at Pakistan’s adopted home in the UAE.
  • Pakistan have won seven of 15 ODIs in 2018. Five came against a depleted Zimbabwe, one against Afghanistan and another against Hong Kong.
  • New Zealand beat Pakistan 5-0 in New Zealand in January.
  • There have been just two scores of over 300 in 42 ODIs at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.


This series presents an opportunity for Pakistan to improve their ODI form. For New Zealand, it is a chance to continue their recent dominance over Pakistan.
I believe New Zealand have the edge in this format, and led by Kane Williamson, will take a 1-0 series lead.
Thanks for reading!

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Charbel Coorey
Charbel Coorey
Charbel is the owner & founder of, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at

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