#PakvsNZ: A Look At What To Expect During The Grudge Game

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#PakvsNZ contest during the #T20WorldCup is all set to take place today in Sharjah and so, here is a look at what to expect.

Read: #PAKvsIndia: Pakistanis Celebrate Their #MaukaMauka Moment

Why #PakvsNZ Is A Grudge Game?

Pakistan's T20 Series In New Zealand, New Zealand, #PAKvsNZ
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New Zealand unilaterally abandoned their tour of Pakistan last month citing security reasons and ever since relations between the two countries and their cricket boards have been sour. Moreover, no information with regard to the nature of the threat was shared neither with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) nor with the intelligence agencies of the country. Pakistan has been desperately trying to ensure return of international since 2009 i.e. following the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team. The Kiwi government’s decision then was a major setback for PCB that has suffered a massive financial loss owing to the unwanted development.

Read: Wasim Akram Criticizes Media, Not Impressed With Ramiz Raja

Kane Williamson Wants The Match To Be Played In The “Right Spirit”

Kane Williamson hits a century leading New Zealand to a win against Pakistan in the first ODI at Wellington. Source: ESPN Cricinfo, #PAKvsNZ
Kane Williamson hits a century leading New Zealand to a win against Pakistan in the first ODI at Wellington. Source: ESPN Cricinfo

The Kiwi skipper understands the significance of the encounter and so, probably while looking to avoid unnecessary tension in the middle and in order to play things down before the big world cup game he said, “It was a really disappointing situation. I know the team that was there was very much looking forward to the occasion and playing cricket over in Pakistan, and it was a real shame that it wasn’t able to go ahead. Having said that, I suppose the focus now is here at the T20 World Cup, and no doubt after last night’s performance, Pakistan have some momentum and are feeling pretty good about their cricket. But there are also a lot of good relations within the two teams. Over the years they’ve played a lot against each other, and a number of players have played with each other, as well. I’m sure it’ll be played in the right spirit, but no doubt Pakistan will be well supported, as they always are here in the UAE.”

Read: Is There A Need To Make More Changes In Pakistan’s #T20WC Squad?

How Does The Wicket In Sharjah Behave?

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The last two matches in Sharjah have seen 3 out of the four teams posting a total over 170 runs. The track then as always is likely to support the spinners while the team batting first still would want to post somewhere around 180 to 190 runs because if the dew factor comes into play; things should be very difficult for the team bowling second. Hence, it is obvious that the team winning the toss will invite the opposition to bat first.

Read: #T20WorldCup: Babar Azam All For Opening With Mohd. Rizwan

What XI Will Pakistan Play?

After registering a historic victory against India, Pakistan are likely to enter the contest unchanged with the following players.

Babar Azam (c), Mohd. Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Mohd. Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi