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NZL v PAK, 4th ODI Preview: New Zealand aim to inflict further pain on the battered visitors

To be honest, the way Pakistan is playing, it'd be least surprising if they get annihilated once again. 

Kane Williamson New Zealand v Pakistan | CricTracker.com
Kane Williamson of New Zealand looks on during the third game. (Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)

New Zealand threw few of the worst challenges to Pakistan in the first three ODIs and the visitors succumbed deliriously on all occasions. Pakistan looked a little too feeble in comparison to the Blackcaps, but they have two more games in hand to finish with a respectable margin. To be honest, the way Pakistan is playing, it’d be least surprising if they get annihilated once again.

You know things are going wonderfully in your favor when both bowling and batting departments are contributing profusely. That really has been the case for New Zealand thus far. Most of the tracks provided previously have been assisting bowlers ever so slightly. It’d be least surprising if Dunedin provides something similar.

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Playing Combinations (New Zealand vs Pakistan)

New Zealand

Martin Guptill and Colin Munro form a destructive opening combination. Following them in the middle would be Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, and Mitchell Santner. They’ll be going in with four frontline seamers in Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Todd Astle, and ofcourse, the main man Trent Boult. To compete with this lineup would be quite a tough task for any team, so Pakistan’s situation is completely understandable.

Probable XI: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (WK), Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Todd Astle, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult

Pakistan

Fakhar Zaman has been decent thus far in the tournament and accompanying him would be Azhar Ali. Their main man Babar Azam will come in at 3, with Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed will coming in the middle order. Their frontline fast bowlers for the game will be the experienced Hasan Ali and Mohammad Amir, to go with Faheem Ashraf and Rumman Raees. Shadab Khan will be the lone spinner.

Probable XI: Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (C & WK), Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Rumman Raees

Focus will be on

Kane Williamson (New Zealand)

After a short-little spell without many runs, Kane Williamson has started 2018 on a grand note. He notched a hundred in the 1st ODI and is looking in solid touch currently. When he is playing well, New Zealand look a completely different unit. The skipper needs to get a few more runs to boost his confidence, which got dented towards the end of 2017.

Fakhar Zaman (Pakistan)

The swashbuckling southpaw stroked a brilliant 86 in the first ODI, which finished on the losing side. But Fakhar Zaman has been consistently performing well at the elite level ever since that hundred in the Champions Trophy final. Their side needs him would be such an understatement and given he scores something big, Pakistan can storm back into the game.

StatAttack

31 – Shoaib Malik needs 31 runs to complete 7,000 ODI runs. He’d become the 38th player overall and 8th Pakistani to reach that landmark in ODIs.

76 – Kane Williamson needs 76 runs to complete 5,000 runs in ODIs

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