The month of December is going to be quite action-packed for the cricketing fans of our neighboring country. The Pakistani team would go head-to-head against their New Zealand counterpart in three T20Is towards the end of the month on 18th, 20th and 22nd December. These three New Zealand vs Pakistan matches are going to be worth waiting for.
The 3rd T20I is fixed on 22nd December from 11:30 AM as per the Indian timing. This New Zealand vs Pakistan match would be played at one of the ten finest stadiums of New Zealand, McLean Park, Napier.
Napier is one of the driest cities of New Zealand and this pitch is, thus, different from the other pitches in the country. In fact, as the past statistics say, this pitch is heaven for batsmen. It is considered one of the most scoring grounds in the entire world. Moreover, for limited over matches, it helps score more. A fun fact about this ground is that the very first International cricket match played in it was also between the same two teams who would be clashing against each other on 22nd December. It was, however, a Test Match played in 1979. Another thing about this pitch is that the wicket slows up as the game proceeds.
As per the weather reports for around 22nd December 2020, it is going to remain cloudy with little to no rain. This would ensure no disruption during the New Zealand vs Pakistan cricket match. This would, however, impact the batting as such conditions favor the bowlers. This would present a unique scenario where the pitch supports the batsmen but the weather supports the bowlers.
The Playing XI is yet unknown but the squad for the entire tour includes Babar Azam, Shadab Khan,Shaheen Afridi, Iftikhar Ahmed, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Haider Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Haris Rauf, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafique, Khushdil Shah, Hussain Talat and Imad Wasim. Babar Azam is the captain while Shadab Khan is the vice- captain. However, stalwarts like Afridi would definitely be in the playing XI. New Zealand, on the other hand, is yet to announce its squad.
Babar Azam and Mohammed Hafeez are two batsmen the New Zealand side would have to keep an eye out for. Among the bowlers, Haris Rauf and Usman Qadir are two strong players on the Pakistani team.
This tour didn’t start in the best of ways though. The players have already reached New Zealand but 6 members tested positive and they were all sent to quarantine after this. In the fifth and final round of testing, though, the entire squad appeared negative and they have now been given the permission to start practicing for the New Zealand vs Pakistan cricket match.
For the players of fantasy cricket as well, the NZ vs Pak fantasy cricket is going to be another attraction. The key to this fantasy cricket would be to check the New Zealand lineup and choose players wisely taking into account the above facts also.