Pak vs NZ: Pakistan win toss, put New Zealand to bat first

Pakistan have won the toss and have elected to field first against New Zealand as the green shirts lock horns with the Black Caps today.
“We are going to bowl first,” said skipper Babar Azam at the toss. “We will take early wickets and put pressure on them. The second reason is the dew factor [so the team may want to capitalise on it],” he said.
Speaking about the India win, Babar Azam said a victory always gives the team confidence, especially if it is the first one.
“There is always room for improvement so we will try to be consistent,” he said, adding that he has made no changes to the playing XI.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said he would like his team to adopt to the circumstances in Sharjah.
New Zealand will be kick-starting their ICC T20 World Cup campaign today against the green shirts, who began their journey with a record-breaking win against India.
On the ICC Men’s T20 team rankings, Pakistan is placed third, while New Zealand is on fourth position. Pakistan holds a historical edge over the Kiwis in the format though, having won 14 and lost 10 contests between the sides. The last series between the two countries, in December 2020, was won by New Zealand.
The two sides were supposed to play another series in Pakistan as part of their preparation for the T20 World Cup, but the Kiwis abruptly cancelled the hotly-anticipated series minutes before the scheduled start of the ODI series in Rawalpindi, citing security threats.
PCB had expressed disappointment over New Zealand’s decision.
“Walking out of the tour by taking a unilateral approach on a security threat is very frustrating,” PCB chief Ramiz Raja had said.
‘Pakistan will not hold any grudges over New Zealand’
A day earlier, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson had said that both Pakistan and New Zealand enjoy good relations and the T20 World Cup match between the two teams “will be played in right spirits.”
His comments came after Williamson had been asked, “if he feels there will be some acrimony or any grudges during the match due to the situation that arose after New Zealand had abandoned Pakistan’s tour last month.”
The skipper had said that it was a “disappointing” situation when the tour was called off.
“I know the team members were very much looking forward to the occasion and playing cricket in Pakistan, and it was a real shame that it wasn’t able to go ahead,” he had said on the eve of the match.
“The focus now is here at the T20 World Cup, and no doubt after last night’s performance, Pakistan have some momentum and are feeling pretty good about their cricket,” he had said.

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