The Pakistan Cricket Team has started their preparations for the T20I series vs New Zealand. Senior players including Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi will all be in focus in the upcoming series. While Shaheen and Rizwan have been appointed Pakistan’s new T20I captain and vice-captain respectively, Babar Azam has been suffering a collapse in form since Asia Cup 2023.

The series between Pakistan and New Zealand looks to be an exciting one, with Pakistan’s aggressive batting to be tested by New Zealand’s controlled spin bowling and Pakistan’s pace attack.

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The Pakistani bowlers, including captain Shaheen Afridi, Zaman Khan, and Haris Rauf, bowled against Saim and Rizwan who were facing the new ball during the practice session.

During the training session, former captain Babar Azam was observed sharpening his batting techniques against spinners. Fakhar Zaman, who is anticipated to be a key player in the middle order this time, joined him in this spin-centric practice.

The opening combination of Rizwan and Saim will probably bat first, followed by Babar at one-down. It is anticipated that Fakhar will finish in fourth place.

Iftikhar Ahmed is predicted to give firepower at number six in the batting order, while Azam Khan will be in the fifth spot. Iftikhar and Azam’s roles, however, are interchangeable depending on the circumstance.

Babar Azam hits Saeed Ajmal

On Tuesday, Babar Azam was observed sharpening his technique and practicing the straight drive, polishing his timing and balance in the Pakistan nets. But former Pakistani spinner and current spin-bowling coach Saeed Ajmal, who was watching Azam practice against a left-arm spinner in the nets, was unlucky to be struck on the back by Babar.

Pakistan T20 Squad for New Zealand: Shaheen Shah Afridi (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain and wicket-keeper) Aamir Jamal, Abbas Afridi, Azam Khan (wicket-keeper), Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Haseebullah (wicket-keeper), Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz,  Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sahibzada Farhan, Saim Ayub, Usama Mir and Zaman Khan

Pakistan vs New Zealand T20 2024 Schedule

  • 1st T20I– 12 January 2024 at Eden Park, Auckland
  • 2nd T20I– 14 January 2024 at Seddon Park, Hamilton
  • 3rd T20I– 17 January 2024 at University Oval, Dunedin
  • 4th T20I– 19 January 2024 at Hagley Oval, Christchurch
  • 5th T20I– 21 January 2024 at Hagley Oval, Christchurch

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