T20 World Cup | Team Analysis: New Zealand vs Pakistan

T20 World Cup | Team Analysis: New Zealand vs Pakistan

The New Zealand squad is devoid of a ‘big hitter’ who can slog in the death overs almost at will to get those 20-25 extra runs

Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan (R) celebrates with his team captain Babar Azam after scoring a half-century (50 runs) during the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between India and Pakistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai on October 24, 2021. Credit: AFP Photo

New Zealand will be looking to begin their T20 World Cup 2021 campaign with a win when they face Pakistan in match 19 of the World Cup. High after their 10-wicket win over rivals India, Pakistan will be in no mood to relent as a win in this match would make their life easier and smoothen their path for a semifinal spot. 

Pakistan strengths:

Although the team is looking well rounded, Pakistan’s biggest strength at the moment is their opening pair of Babar Azam and Mohammed Rizwan. The two batters have stitched together three highest partnerships for Pakistan in men’s T20I and all three partnerships have been put in 2021. The two batters have combined to put the partnerships of 197, 152* and 150 against South Africa, India and England respectively. The two batters are enjoying each other’s company at the moment and scoring runs at free will which is making life tough for the opposition bowlers.

Pakistan weaknesses: 

The absence of an experienced fast-bowling all-rounder could affect the team’s balance a bit, but Pakistan are just too good in all other departments for this to become a big issue for them. 

New Zealand’s strengths: 

New Zealand are top-heavy. Martin Guptill is now a veteran for the Blackcaps and is New Zealand’s all-time leading run-scorer in T20Is. Guptill will be in the company of Devon Conwoy while opening the batting. Conwoy has a T20 career strike rate of nearly 160. Conwoy and Guptill complement each other well. While Guptill loves hitting sixes, Conwoy deals in fours. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson should bat at no. 3. Williamson has scored 5429 runs from 212 T20 matches averaging 31.74.  

New Zealand’s weaknesses:  

The New Zealand squad is devoid of a ‘big hitter’ who can slog in the death overs almost at will to get those 20-25 extra runs. Jimmy Neesham can hit big shots but is not consistent. Daryl Mitchell and Mark Champman too are unable to do what the likes of Kieron Pollard or Glenn Maxwell can do for West Indies and Australia, on a regular basis. 

Head-to-head

Matches played: 24

Pakistan wins: 14

New Zealand wins: 10 

Form Guide: 

Pakistan: W-W-L-L-W

New Zealand: W-L-W-L-L

Pitch and conditions

The surface seems to have dramatically improved, batting wise, since its IPL 2021 days. The match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh was a high scoring fixture. Afghanistan too found it easy to score runs. But it won’t be that easy a ride for the batters as spinners are expected to get good purchase from the track.

The evening will be clear and cooler. The temperature is expected to be around 26°C and the humidity level would be around 59%. 

Team News

Pakistan have no fitness concerns and are unlikely to make any change in the winning combination that delivered a win against India. 

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson had issues with his elbow that had ruled him out of SRH’s last match of IPL 2021, but Williamson seems to have recovered from the niggle and is very likely to start in New Zealand playing XI. 

Deccan Herald’s Dream XI

Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Kane Williamson (c), Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi, Shaheen Shah Afridi

Impact player for Pakistan

Babar Azam: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam is enjoying a super run in T20 cricket. Babar has smashed 419 runs from in his last 9 T20 innings averaging 69.83. In those innings he has hit one unbeaten hundred and four fifties. It is nearly impossible to stop Babar from scoring runs in this format. 

Impact player for New Zealand

Ish Sodhi: Ish Sodhi will be New Zealand’s first choice spinner. Sodhi has picked 12 wickets from his last 9 T20 innings. If the pitch does start to turn then Sodhi can create a lot of menace for Pakistani batters.