NZ v PAK: Pakistan expected to make a couple of changes in the third ODI

Fakhar Zaman is likely to play the third ODI after being ruled out in the previous game.

Fakhar Zaman
Fakhar Zaman of Pakistan. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

The Pakistan tour of New Zealand hasn’t begun well for the visitors. After being two down, they stare a possible series defeat ahead of the third One Day International. In a must-win situation, Pakistan would be looking to deliver their potential best. The Champions Trophy winners have failed to outperform New Zealand in a couple of games so far. As both teams go to Otago Oval for the third One Dayer, a couple of changes are expected from the Pakistani side.

Fakhar Zaman fit to play third ODI

Earlier ahead of the second ODI, opener Fakhar Zaman was ruled out owing to an injury. The Pakistani opener had sustained a strain during the first ODI in Wellington while fielding. After being assessed, he was diagnosed with a contusion in the right thigh.

However, the news from the Pakistani camp is that he has resumed training and has improved significantly. He’s likely to replace Imam Ul Haq in the playing XI. The 27-year-old was not out on a stupendous 82 runs from 86 balls before rain played spoilsport at Wellington.

Meanwhile, left arm pacer Rumman Raees may also be rested. Haris Sohail is being deemed as a favourite to replace him. Sarfraz Ahmed’s men would be looking to create a turnaround in the series. The middle order has failed to fire. Thus it will be important for the likes of Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik to step up.

While Mohammed Amir bowled well in both the games, the rest of the bowling lineup has oscillated up and down. Shadab Khan did a fantastic job with the bat in the second game but the leg-spinner hasn’t been amongst the wickets. Thus, it would be key for the bowlers to restrict the New Zealand batsmen.

Pakistan’s expected playing XI: Fakhar Zaman, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Muhammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Haris Sohail.

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