The invincible T20I side, Pakistan will look to find their lost their magic in the second One Day International of the three-match series against New Zealand on Friday at Abu Dhabi.
Pakistan whitewashed the Blackcaps in the three-match T20I series, registering their 11th consecutive T20I series. However, their misery continued in the 50-over format as they lost their 11th consecutive ODI against the Kiwis.
Sarfraz Ahmed was hopeful to break the jinx ahead of the ODI series, but failed to do so as their batting line tumbled on 219 runs courtesy of Trent Boult’s hat-trick, losing the game by 47 runs at the end. Sarfraz Ahmed and Imad Wasim remained the only mentionable scorers for Pakistan with 64 and 50 runs respectively.
The hosts were once again impressive with the ball, restricting the dangerous batting line of New Zealand to merely 266, despite being 208/3 at a stage and then crumbling to 254/9, giving away four wickets to each Shadab Khan and Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Pakistan, who had a disastrous Asia Cup 2018, will wish to end their ODI woes with a series win against the third-ranked ODI side. The ongoing series will set the tone for Pakistan’s run in the upcoming World Cup 2019, which will be played in England.
Sarfraz Ahmed would want to see his strike bowler, Hasan Ali to get back in form, who was ineffective in the first contest of the campaign. Moreover, his other trump card, Fakhar Zaman, who has been an asset for Pakistan in this format of the game at the top of the order is also misfiring. Sarfraz would like to see the two Champions Trophy heroes to get back in their grooves in the next couple of games.
Pakistan will be hoping to get some runs from their consistent men, Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik. They have got the firepower who can launch from a platform to take their team side to a fighting total. The Men in Green will feel confident if they set a target of 250+ batting second. However, the hosts will look to restrict the visitors at something around 220 as they struggle while chasing, but, it would be a challenge for them.
Pakistan can afford to make a couple of changes in their side, they can bring in Faheem Ashraf and Haris Sohail to strengthen their batting a bit. However, it will not be an easy decision for the think tank to take.