This year will end with an exciting clash between New Zealand and Pakistan in T20 and Test matches, likely to be very close affairs. New Zealand has an astounding 20 over pedigree and plenty of talented young players coming through the ranks, while Pakistan has been more of an experienced team.
The Pakistan tour of New Zealand will start with three T20 matches, and the hosts will be favorites to make home advantage count given the wickets will be suited to the bowling attack of New Zealand and the expectation is that should they make a positive start, then they will take all the beating.
Pakistan tour of New Zealand Schedule
18 December – 1st T20I, Eden Park, Auckland
20 December – 2nd T20I, Seddon Park, Hamilton
22 December – 3rd T20I, McLean Park, Napier
26 December-30 December – 1st Test, Bay Oval, Tauranga
3 January-7 January – 2nd Test, Hagley Oval, Christchurch
Looking at the key squad players for New Zealand, the main men to mention are Kane Williamson, who will be captaining the team. Williamson featured in this year’s IPL has a vast experience in the short-form game and is proving to be a perfect captain of his county and a great player with the bat as well. Trent Boult and Tom Bruce will also feature and look to impress the selectors with some big scores, while Martin Guptill is also set to feature, and his top-quality opening batsmanship will be necessary for the team. Tim Southee and Ross Taylor are key bowlers who will take plenty of wickets and bow economically to ensure they help out the team.
When we look at New Zealand’s current form, there is plenty of confidence in the squad right now. New Zealand dominated their first test match earlier this month against West Indies as Kane Williamson scored a superb 251, which along with Tom Latham’s 86, helped New Zealand score 519 for 7 wickets in their first innings. The West Indies reply was pretty average as the bowling of New Zealand was outstanding as Tim Southee took 4 wickets for 35 runs, and then Kyle Jamieson also helped with 2 wickets as the West Indies only ended up scoring 138 runs. In the follow on, West Indies only managed 247, which gave New Zealand an innings victory, and the key bowlers in the 2nd innings were Neil Wagner, who took four wickets, and Kyle Jamieson also took two wickets.
The 2nd test match between West Indies and New Zealand went the same way as the first Test match. New Zealand put up a strong first innings score hitting 460 all out, with top scorer Henry Nicholls scoring a fantastic 174 runs. In return, West Indies were struggling, and Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson once again the nemesis as they took 8 wickets between them, with Southee taking 3 and Jamieson 5.
Pakistan came into these matches against New Zealand on the back of good form as they beat Sri Lanka 2-0 in a one-day international series and then followed this up with a 3-0 whitewash in T20 matches. The star players for Pakistan with the bat were Babar Azam and Haider Ali, who scored multiple half-centuries in the T20 games.
The key bowlers in form for Pakistan during their T20 series against Zimbabwe were Haris Rauf and Usman Qadir. Both delivered vital spells for Pakistan, giving them the upper hand as Zimbabwe had to chase a score. Still, the consistency will cause New Zealand problems in the upcoming international matches.
According to sportsbookreview.com, the predictions are precise. The odds suggest that New Zealand favorites to win both the T20 international and the Test series because home advantage will count for a lot. New Zealand has many good form players, including Kane Williamson, who leads from the front as captain but bowling wise, they have a top bowler in Tim Southee.
For Pakistan, they will need Babar Azam to score well with the bat and the supporting players to put up good scores to be competitive because otherwise, the home side could well have a relaxing time with the wickets likely to favor New Zealand. We are set for a good series, and it will be competitive, but New Zealand should come out on top here.