NZ vs PAK, 2024: New Zealand’s best playing XI for the T20I series against Pakistan

The five-match T20I series between Pakistan and New Zealand is poised to kick off on Friday (January 12), commencing with the inaugural game at Eden Park in Auckland.

New Zealand’s recent form and challenges

New Zealand exhibited a commendable performance by clinching the T20I series against Bangladesh at home, albeit facing a rare defeat against them. The return of their regular skipper, Kane Williamson, to the T20I squad after an extended absence is a notable highlight. Williamson, eager to find his form ahead of the fast-approaching T20 World Cup 2024, will aim to swiftly acclimate to the T20 format.

Captaincy dynamics and squad updates

Star all-rounder Rachin Ravindra has been rested, but the recuperation of Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson from injuries ensures their inclusion in the squad. In the absence of Williamson for the third T20I, Mitchell Santner will take charge, leading the New Zealand side, as they seek to maintain their winning momentum in the series.

Also READ: PCB announces appointment of a new vice-captain for T20I team ahead of New Zealand tour

New Zealand’s top-choice playing XI for the T20I series against Pakistan:

Openers:

Kane Williamson, a cricketing maestro and the captain, is the linchpin of New Zealand’s batting lineup. Renowned for his composed approach and ability to anchor innings, Williamson brings leadership and consistency to the opening role. Alongside him, Finn Allen, a dynamic and aggressive opener, complements Williamson’s style. Allen’s explosive batting and fearless stroke play make him a potent force at the top, capable of providing quick starts.

Middle-order batters:

Daryl Mitchell, a versatile middle-order batter, is known for his adaptability and calm demeanour under pressure. His capability to play various roles adds depth to the batting unit. Glenn Phillips, a power-hitting sensation, injects aggression into the middle overs. Mark Chapman, a reliable and composed batter, ensures stability. Together, this middle-order trio forms a well-rounded combination, adept at building innings and capitalizing on opportunities.

Wicketkeeper and All-rounder:

Mitchell Santner, a seasoned all-rounder, contributes significantly with both bat and ball. His left-arm spin adds a valuable spin option to the attack, and his ability to finish innings with the bat makes him a crucial asset. Tim Seifert known for his explosive batting provides an extra dimension to the team’s balance, potentially strengthening the middle order. Seifert’s adaptability and aggressive style make him a valuable addition to the Blackcaps side. He is also the key contributor behind the stumps with the gloves.

Bowlers:

Matt Henry, a genuine pace bowler, uses swing and seam movement to trouble batter. Adam Milne, another express pace bowler, provides an additional firepower option. Ish Sodhi, a skilful leg-spinner, adds variety to the bowling attack. Tim Southee, the experienced campaigner, leads the pace battery with his ability to swing the ball both ways. Together, this quartet forms a potent and well-rounded bowling unit capable of dismantling oppositions.

Also READ: New Zealand announces a strong 13-man squad for Pakistan T20Is; Kane Williamson, Matt Henry return

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