Pakistan, who lost the first ODI against New Zealand by 70 runs, are in serious need to defeat New Zealand in the third ODI at McLean Park in Napier if they are to have any chance of winning the three-match one-day series.
New Zealand played some consistent cricket against Pakistan in the T20 series, where the Black Caps defeated the visitors 2-1. New Zealand continued their impressive winning performance in the ODI as well, playing some superb cricket to win the first ODI.
It was an all-round performance by the Black Caps, which helped them script a win. New Zealand set a target of 281 runs to win with good contribution from Henry Nicholls and the lower-order batsmen. Trent Boult was the pick of the bowlers, picking up four wickets.
Pakistan, on the other hand, have been below par and also lacked consistency in the series. Their batsmen, once again in the ODI series, got off to a decent start, but failed to convert it into meaningful scores. The visitors need to find a way to stay at the batting crease for a longer duration or else they might have to suffer a series defeat in Napier itself.
Though New Zealand might have defeated Pakistan in the first ODI, they were worried about Mitchell McClenaghan, who suffered a fractured eye socket as he was hit with a bouncer during the game. The bowler, who will undergo surgery on Friday, has been replaced by Doug Bracewell, who is expected to make an impression in the remainder of the series as he has been in quite decent form.
"Doug has been in superb form this summer and we're confident he can come in and do a good job for us. He's an integral member of our wider bowling group," stuff.co.nz quoted Black Caps coach Mike Hesson as saying.
New Zealand, who have an incredible batting line up, will depend on their in-form batsman Martin Guptill, who has been scoring runs for fun of late. Apart from Guptil, they also have batsmen such as Corey Anderson and Kane Williamson, who are going to hold the key.
Pakistan bowlers such as Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Irfan need to be at their menacing best, and dismiss New Zealand batsmen quickly and make early in roads. Pakistan batsmen such as Azhar Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Babar Azam need to score runs in order to bring the team in a commanding position.
With Pakistan keen to draw the series level and the home team aiming for the kill in Napier, the second ODI is expected to entertain cricket viewers across the world with a quality game.
Kane Williamson (capt), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Doug Bracewell, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Luke Ronchi (wk), Tom Latham
Azhar Ali (capt), Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sohaib Maqsood, Zafar Gohar, Imad Wasim, Anwar Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Wahab Riaz, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Amir
Where to watch live
New Zealand vs Pakistan 2nd ODI is schedule for 2pm local time (6:30am IST, 1am GMT, 8pm ET) start. There is no live coverage of the match in India.
New Zealand viewers can watch the New Zealand vs Pakistan 2nd ODI live on Sky Sport Network.
PTV Sports will show the New Zealand vs Pakistan 2nd ODI live in Pakistan and can also be viewed online on PTV Sports Live.
The US viewers can watch New Zealand vs Pakistan 2nd ODI live on Willow TV with live streaming on Willow TV Online.
Viewers in Africa can catch all the action on SuperSport or SuperSport online.