We have seen a lot of Pakistan vs New Zealand games this year and there is no doubt that both sides have been extremely competitive.
The 3 match One Day International (ODI) series in UAE between Pakistan and New Zealand ended yesterday in a draw. Pakistan would be disappointed because despite being in the driver’s seat; they had to settle for a drawn rubber owing to rain that interrupted the final ODI. Nevertheless, apart from the opening game Pakistan were pretty clinical throughout the series. Therefore, here is a look at 3 positives Pakistan can take from the ODI series against the Kiwis.
Pakistan’s Team Combination
By the third ODI it seems Mickey Arthur and Sarfaraz Ahmed were finally able to get the team combination right to a certain degree. Pakistan’s think tank played too many bowlers/bowling all-rounders during the first two games. However, Harris Sohail’s inclusion ahead of Imad Wasim pretty much made sense as finally, Pakistan were playing with an eleven that wasn’t a batsman short.
Nevertheless, the men in green decided to enter the game with M. Hafeez as an opener which we can’t be sure is a workable solution on English wickets where the next ICC World Cup is supposed to be played. So, perhaps Imam will eventually return (after recovering from his injury) to open with Fakhar Zaman. Hafeez and Harris Sohail, then are likely to bat at number four and number six respectively, during the next ODI series that will be played in South Africa.
The Rise of Shaheen Shah Afridi
Shaheen Shah Afridi was phenomenal with both the new and the old ball. Therefore, it is no surprise that he was named as the “Player of the Series.” Also included in Pakistan’s Test side for the first time; the ongoing tour, for sure, has seen the rise of the teenage sensation.
Dominating the Kiwis!
Pakistan might not have won the rubber but for a change during the last few weeks they have somehow managed to dominate the Kiwi boys, who, before this series had a definite upper hand over the green shirts at the ODI level.
Pakistan then is likely to be more confident when the two sides meet again for a 3-match Test series that begins in UAE from November 16, 2018.