NZ vs PAK: Live Streaming, Match Preview, Timings, Pitch Report and more for 1st T20I

NZ vs PAK: Live Streaming, Match Preview, Timings, Pitch Report and more for 1st T20I

New Zealand is coming fresh from consecutive whitewashes over West Indies, whereas Pakistan is heading into this three-match series after a 3-0 victory over Zimbabwe at home in November.

New Zealand
New Zealand. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

The visitors, Pakistan, have been in troubled waters ever since the arrival of their 54-man contingent to this shore of the world. As many as 6 from their camp testing positive for the virus hours after their arrival had put the tour in jeopardy. For Pakistan – as it is for the majority of the cricketing nations, the concept of a bubble is newer than the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the world has come to terms with it, and the gesture of players intermingling in the hotel hallways, sharing food, and avoiding the use of masks was good enough to prompt a rebuke from Dr. Ashley Bloomfield, New Zealand’s director-general of health, who took “a dim view” of the visitors’ actions.

That the players got involved in such a manner despite they signed up to the arrangements in an undertaking that made what was expected of them clearly, was regrettable indeed. So cavalier was the negligence of the players that it took the New Zealand Government to put them on a “final warning”. And one more breach could have indeed seen the entire traveling party being deported.

The breaches led to Pakistan’s quarantine period being reset, which led them to lose out on precious training time and had visibly upset their head coach Misbah-ul-Haq. So then, after a rather creepy buildup that saw the tourists Pakistan being warned, even threatened to be sent back home, and their head coach Misbah ul Haq’s “realistic considerations” about “pulling out of the tour”, the series – hopefully no other dramatic setback arrives in the little time left – will commence from the shortest format at Eden Park, Auckland.

New Zealand is coming fresh from consecutive whitewashes over West Indies in T20Is and Tests, whereas the tourists, who have won 6 of their 8 T20Is in 2020, are heading into this three-match series after a 3-0 victory over Zimbabwe at home in November. Unlike that series, though, Pakistan is fretting over their mainstay Babar Azam’s absence, who is all set to miss the entire series on account of his thumb injury.

As if the void by skipper’s absence is not enough, Fakhar Zaman, who did not board the team flight after showing COVID symptoms, is not with the contingent either. The absentee problem, however, is not only for the touring party to tackle as New Zealand does not have Hamish Bennett due to injury and they have rested Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, and Daryl Mitchell for the first T20I.

Their premium pacer Lockie Ferguson’s spine injury means he will miss the series in its entirety too, which comes after Ross Taylor’s eviction from the T20I squad. Therefore, quite clearly, it is not a full-strength side for both teams.

Pitch and conditions

New Zealand dished out a run-fest at Eden Park against West Indies in the first T20I. Expect another batting-friendly track with ample scoring opportunities. Given that 11 times the team batting first has won at Auckland in the 22 encounters, makes the choice upon winning the toss interesting.

Playing combination for NZ vs PAK

New Zealand 

Devon Conway and Glenn Phillips were simply sensational in the series against West Indies, and they deservedly retained their spot. In many of their major players’ absence, a few new names in Blair Tickner and Jacob Duffy have been added. Todd Astle and Ish Sodhi will be on their duty in the team’s spin column. In Williamson’s absence, Santner will once again be leading the side.

Probable XI: Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert (WK), Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner (C), Scott Kuggelejin/Doug Bracewell, Todd Astle, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner

Bench: Jacob Duffy, Doug Bracewell/Scott Kuggelejin

Pakistan 

In the absence of Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam and an injury to Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez and Haider Ali should be seen opening for Pakistan. The call on Shadab Khan, who is nursing a groin injury, will be taken on the game day. Mohammad Rizwan will be the preferred choice for the wicketkeeper, whereas one amongst Wahab Riaz and Haris Rauf will form the pace attack alongside Mohammad Hasnain and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Probable XI: Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf/Hussain Talat, Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Usman Qadir/Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz/Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Shah Afridi

Bench: Usman Qadir/Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz/Haris Rauf, Hussain Talat/ Faheem Ashraf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Muhammad Musa

NZ vs PAK Head to Head

Played – 21 | New Zealand – 8 | Pakistan – 13

In New Zealand

Played – 9 | New Zealand – 5 | Pakistan – 4

NZ vs PAK Broadcast details

Match Timings- 11:30 AM (IST), 07:00 PM (Local)

Live Streaming– Fancode