ODI series starts with focus on World Cup - Pakistan Today

ODI series starts with focus on World Cup

The ODI series between New Zealand and Pakistan which starts today, offers a final opportunity to both the teams to experiment with their 15-men squads for the World Cup.
Pakistan will aim to continue their winning momentum after a good show in the Test series. In their last two ODI series they took both England and South Africa to the wire before losing out in the final game of the series to lose 3-2.
Shahid Afridi and his charges will be aiming for early damage. Pakistan are a proficient ODI team and know how to manage themselves. The return of Kamran Akmal, who is expected open the batting, will lend stability to the side. It is also time young Umar Akmal pull up his socks and graduate to the next league as a more reliable batsman. He certainly needs to be more consistent with his performances. Pakistan also have the captaincy controversy to deal with. Shahid Afridi will have to lead from the front both with bat and ball.
New Zealand will be looking to end their 11 match ODI loss streak. There are reports that Black Caps might be changing their opening pair of Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder. Martin Guptill is expected to open after his good show in T20s and Tests.
Overall the New Zealand team will be vulnerable given their poor recent ODI record.
Players to look out for: Abdul Razzaq has a proven record in ODI cricket and off late has been in superb form especially with the bat. He is experienced and his medium pace deliveries can be valuable in these conditions. Six years ago at the same venue Abdul Razzaq played a memorable knock of 89 off 40 balls including five sixes which almost saw Pakistan win the game, so he will also be having good memories of this ground.
Head to head & Conditions: Westpac Stadium, Wellington is a proper ground unlike most of the smallish grounds around New Zealand so boundaries will be full length. New Zealand have won four out of their last five ODIs against Pakistan. The weather is expected to be clear so a good game can be expected.

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