The recently concluded New Zealand-Pakistan T20 series witnessed some quality action, with the Black Caps emerging victorious. New Zealand will be keen to play a similar level of cricket when these two teams battle it out in the three-match ODI series, which is scheduled to take shape at Basin Reserve in Wellington on Sunday.
Though the format may have changed, neither team has wholesale changes, only few. Shahid Afridi, who only plays T20 cricket, has handed over the captaincy to Azhar Ali, while Kane Williamson is the skipper in the ODI format as well for New Zealand.
The home team have a solid batting line up, including Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Williamson and Grant Elliott. Among these batsmen, Guptill and Munro have been in great form for the Black Caps, who will once again depend on their services with the bat.
They also have some strong bowlers, who can trouble the Pakistan batsmen. Bowlers such as Trent Boult and Adam Milne with their pace can be more than handful for any batsman. New Zealand supporters, who are expected to pour in huge numbers, can be entertained by their favourite players to the hilt if things go according to the plan for the home team.
"Speaking to everyone that's going to the game, around the city, they're all excited to have a one-dayer at the Basin Reserve. I think it's one of the best venues in the world, so to get a capacity crowd out here tomorrow will be fantastic for the guys," ESPN Cricinfo quoted Elliott as saying.
On the other side, Pakistan batsmen have not done justice to their talent as was witnessed in the T20 series. They did get good starts, but failed to convert their starts into meaningful scores, which was a cause of concern. Another similar batting performance could prove to be disastrous for the visitors.
Experienced players such as Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik and their skipper, Ali, need to stand up and be counted with the willow. However, they have some decent bowlers such as Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Irfan, who can exploit the swing, which shall be in the offing for the seamers.
However, Ali will assess the conditions closely and decided upon their staring eleven on a track, which is very firm.
"The wicket looks quite hard and the wind factor is there, so we'll try and figure out a combination that will suit these conditions," said Ali.
Kane Williamson (capt), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Mitchell McClenaghan, 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 1st ODI is schedule for a 11am local time (3:30am IST, 10pm GMT, 5pm ET) start. There is no live coverage of the match in India.
New Zealand viewers can watch the New Zealand vs Pakistan 1st ODI live on Sky Sport Network.
PTV Sports will show the New Zealand vs Pakistan 1st ODI live in Pakistan and can also be viewed online on PTV Sports Live.
The US viewers can watch New Zealand vs Pakistan 1st 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.