In a five-match Twenty20 International series against New Zealand, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has revealed eleven final plays. The first Twenty20 match between the two teams will occur today at Eden Park in Auckland. At 11:10 PKT, the inaugural ball will be bowled. After taking over for Babar Azam, left-arm bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi will play in his maiden encounter as captain today.
Pak against NZ: PCB announces T20I series opener lineup
The match will begin with Rizwan and Saim batting first and Babar Azam batting third. The third, fourth, and sixth slots at the crease will be occupied by Fakhar, Iftikhar, and Azam Khan in that order. Batting at seven and eight, respectively, will be Aamir and Usama. Placed fourth Pakistan last competed in Twenty20 Internationals in April 2023, hosting a five-match series against New Zealand in Lahore and Rawalpindi. Pakistan’s top run scorer in the series was wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan, who has been selected vice-captain by Shaheen.
The assignment’s most effective bowler was right-arm pacer Haris Rauf. An injury that spinner Abrar Ahmed suffered last month while Pakistan was touring Australia for Tests has forced him to withdraw from the team. Captaining Pakistan is an incredible privilege, and I am incredibly proud of this moment,” Shaheen Shah Afridi stated at the pre-series news conference.
Our results over the last several years reflect that we are a solid Twenty20 side. Despite our best efforts, we have never secured a World Cup victory. Getting the results we desire in major events will be our main priority.
“We have 17 games before the World Cup, which is later this year. We want to make sure we have our combination locked in time for that but we also want to ensure that we have a strong bench, in case of injuries during the tournament. Also, we will be testing our younger talent and rotating the players so that by the time we play the series in England, we have clarity about our combination.”
Pakistan’s Playing XI: Shaheen Shah Afridi (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain, wicket-keeper), Aamir Jamal, Abbas Afridi (debutant), Azam Khan (wicket-keeper), Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Saim Ayub, and Usama Mir (debutant).