New Zealand are a strong T20 side with some good hitters and a balanced bowling attack, which has helped them win back-to-back matches in the World T20 so far. New Zealand have come up with some stunning performances to defeat tournament favourites India and Australia.
Now, the Black Caps can even qualify for the semifinals of the World T20 if they manage to defeat Pakistan at Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali, Tuesday.
There seems to be an air of confidence in the New Zealand batting line-up, which is led by opener Martin Guptill, who has been in an excellent form for the Black Caps in the last few months. His formula is simple, take the attack to the bowlers and provide a perfect base for the rest of the batsmen to consolidate on the start.
They have a solid middle order as well with aggressive batsmen such as Corey Anderson and Ross Taylor. These players, when on song, can be mighty dangerous.
However, these batsmen are going to be tested against the Pakistan bowlers. Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir make up for a brilliant pace attack, and if there is anything in the pitch for the pacers in Mohali, expect these bowlers to make life difficult for New Zealand batsmen.
Talking about bowlers, New Zealand are well suited to playing in all conditions as their spinners, primarily Mitchell Santner, have been lethal in the World T20, as was witnessed against India and Australia. They have a fine pace bowling unit as well, which includes Adam Milne, Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Mitchell McClenaghan.
This match against New Zealand is a must win game for Pakistan, who have to come up with their A game to have any chances of reaching the semifinals of the World T20. Pakistan's batting is their weak link in tough batting conditions. They have the firepower and class in Umar Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez and Sharjeel Khan, but these batsmen need to stand up and be counted against the Black Caps.
Teams: Pakistan: Shahid Afridi (c), Ahmed Shehzad, Anwar Ali, Imad Wasim, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Amir, Mohammed Hafeez, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Sami, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Shoaib Malik, Sharjeel Khan, Umar Akmal, Wahab Riaz.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Luke Ronchi (wk), Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.
Pakistan vs New Zealand World T20 schedule
Date: March 22
Time: 7.30 p.m. IST ( 2 p.m. GMT, 9 a.m. ET)
Venue: Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali,
TV listings: India: Star Sports 1/HD1, Star Sports 3/HD3. Indian subcontinent: Star Sports network. West Indies: ESPN. New Zealand: Sky Sports. UK: Sky Sports. US and Canada: Willow TV. Middle East and North Africa: OSN Sports Cricket HD. South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: SuperSport 2.Australia: Fox Sports 3. Hong Kong and Singapore: Star Cricket.Malaysia: Astro Cricket HD,