fter a build-up that was less than ideal, with Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan coach, admitting the team considered pulling out of the tour as strict quarantine protocols in New Zealand took its toll, the series is set to get underway from Friday.
However, some big names are missing from both sides. Pakistan will be without their captain and star batsman Babar Azam, who broke his thumb during practice. Shadab Khan and Imam-ul-Haq have both been nursing injuries in the build-up to the match. Meanwhile, New Zealand left out the veteran Ross Taylor from their T20I squad, while their express paceman Lockie Ferguson was ruled out with injury.
There is still plenty of quality across both sides to make it a contest to watch out for, however, especially with the T20 World Cup 2021 now less than a year away.
The matches, played in Auckland, Hamilton and Napier, will all begin at 7pm local time. Find below the live telecast and streaming schedule of the New Zealand v Pakistan T20Is.
Probable Playing XI:
New Zealand: Tim Seifert (WK), Martin Guptill, Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mark Chapman, Mitchell Santner (C), Scott Kuggeleijn, Ish Sodhi, Jacob Duffy, and Blair Tickner/Doug Bracewell.
Pakistan: M Rizwan (WK), Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, M Hafeez, Shadab Khan (C), Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Afridi, and Haris Rauf.
Match: 1st T20I Match: Pakistan vs New Zealand
Date: Friday, December 18th, 2020
Time: 11:00 AM PST, 01:30 AM IST
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Pakistan vs Newzealand, both teams are without their best captains as Babar Azam, and Kane Williamson won’t be in the T20I matches. When both teams faced each other back in January 2018, Pakistan whitewashed New Zealand in UAE.
The batting line up of Pakistan is a little weak as they don’t have both Babar Azam and Imam ul Haq on the Playing XI. The bowling side of Pakistan has the pace trio of Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Haris Rauf.
Despite New Zealand resting Kane Williamson and Trent Boult, their place would be taken by Glenn Phillips and Mitchell Santner. In the absence of both sides captain, Shadab Khan will lead the Pakistan XI. On the other hand, Mitchell Santner will lead Newzealand XI in this T20I series.