Key players who might possibly have a big impact on the Pak NZ whiteball series
From experienced veterans to rising stars, we’ve got you covered on who could make all the difference on the field. Don’t miss out on this must-read guide before the big match!
“It will be Pakistan who will prevail in the end”. “Pakistan will make a light work of the visiting Kiwi side”.
“The Kiwis might have the wings but it’ll be Pakistan who will clip them in the end”.
The cricketing world is buzzing with all sorts of headlines or predictions at the moment.
On the face of it minus a Kane Williamson with the team in its post- Martin Guptill and post- Ross Taylor era, New Zealand look frail, if not entirely vulnerable.
Whats more? One of the best white ball names in the business Trent Boult is occupied in the IPL.
But in cricket, the often invisible rule is that the unintended and unplanned for makes the central theme.
While they may seem a weakling, New Zealand, true to their powers of playing hard fought cricket, will look to make something out of the series.
Pakistan will certainly take the games as effective practice regimen ahead of the big ODI World Cup bound to take place in India. For them, it’s an awesome opportunity to collect easy points.
The soon-to-begin white ball series in Pakistan is an ideal test for both units to examine their true potential. Who’ll emerge on top might, however, come to rest on the following key names:
Young New Zealander with Indian roots, Rachin Ravindra is one of the youngest cricketers in the international sport, regardless of the format.
At only 23, Rachin Ravindra conducts himself with the poise and calmness of an experienced campaigner when in truth, he debuted not before 2021 (season end) in the game.
Since then, the left handed batter has tried to make the most of the limited chances afforded to him.
Having made incredible headlines given his valiant 18 not out against India in India during the First Test, Rachin Ravindra demonstrated grit and patience for staying put for 91 deliveries and stealing an unlikely draw.
But this time around, the exciting youngster will have to change gears and bat speedily in what promises to be an exciting T20 series against Pakistan.
One of the most gifted and gorgeous strokemakers in the game, Tom Latham is in a new and challenging phase of his career where his key responsibility is to shoulder that of New Zealand cricket.
Having blossomed under the watchful eyes of Kane Williamson, this time around with no Kane around, the brilliant left hander will have to ensure that New Zealand enjoy a Sunny and warm outing in Pakistan.
Gifted with the poise one sees in a sturdy and capable batsman, Latham also has plenty of experience but will he able to lead his team with the much needed patience and wisdom he’s seen around as a budding youngster?
Surely, his opposition will come hard at his side, which to many, seems rather depleted.
All said and done, Latham will have to raise his batting and game awareness by a certain degree if he and his Kiwi unit are to impose some sort of a challenge over Pakistan.
Let’s see what happens.
One of the most exciting if also understated fast bowlers operating currently in the game, New Zealand will depend heavily on the sheer pace and guile of Matt Henry.
Having played little against Pakistan, the 31-year-old who’s played no more than just 7 T20I’s so far will be keen to make the most of this rare opportunity of playing against Pakistan and that too, in the sub continent.
With his natural ability to extract bounce and bowl with a skid, the right arm bowler, his team will hope, plays like a tear away and gives New Zealand the early advantage in this highly-promising white ball series.
Moreover, in the absence of Trent Boult, Henry will have to really rise to the occasion and the inveterate Kiwi fan will hope, he certainly comes good.
There are batsmen. There are fine batmen. There are great batsmen. And then, there’s Babar Azam.
Perhaps not a day passes by in the cricket obsessed social media world where one doesn’t debate who’s better at the cover drive – Virat Kohli or Babar Azam.
But then, is that all that there’s to Babar Azam’s game?
An accomplished, all format all-weather run maker, the fluent right hander is really in a league of his own and his tireless ability to gather runs rather freely in the T20s have made him such a giver of strength to Pakistan over the years.
Given New Zealand seem, at least, by the looks of it, a depleted side, the princely right hander will attempt to have a real run feast. But then, will the Kiwi bowlers not dig deep and find a way to keep the best batsman in the Pakistan side quiet?
Few teams can handle a hot headed Shaheen Shah Afridi when he really gets going and is in the real mood. But the only trouble is, that’s pretty much always the case with the beaming fast bowler.
Having returned to the white ball fold of Pakistan national side, but only after watching the games from the sidelines for over twelve months, Afridi, it could be argued will be in a no nonsense mood and will look to wage an all out attack against a New Zealand side that might not be prepared to face his ire.
The lanky left armer has already picked 58 wickets from 47 T20 internationals and will look to generate fierce pace and bounce and line up many a victim in this white ball series.
But all said, what’ll be most interesting is what might Afridi do on April 17, which if he plays, will be his 50th T20 international.
One of those fast bowlers that certainly have the potential to become a great, especially in the white-ball game, Rauf lends a fine balance to a mighty capable Pakistani line up that has great wicket taking bowlers in Shaheen Afridi and Shadab Khan.
Over the years, we’ve seen Rauf put his tireless abilities and sheer passion for the game to rip into many a famous team’s top and middle order without much ado.
The 29-year-old with 57 T20Is to his credit from which he’s taken the 72 wickets in the shorter format will be keen to put what is a rather inexperienced New Zealand order through a sheer test of pace.
Who emerges on the right side of the result won’t take long to know. But it’s clear that Haris Rauf will leave nothing to chance and come really hard at New Zealand.