After a brief hiatus due to a thumb injury, New Zealand’s captain, Kane Williamson, is back in action. Alongside him, leg-spinner Ish Sodhi has also been reinstated to the team for the crucial match against Pakistan at Bengaluru’s M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Pakistan’s Strategic Play: Pace Over Spin
In a bid to secure a spot in the knockout stages of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, Pakistan has made a tactical change. The team has chosen to rely on pace, bringing Hasan Ali into the playing XI. This decision underscores the importance of this match, as a win against New Zealand is crucial for Pakistan’s World Cup journey.
Team Composition: Quick Bowlers and a Frontline Spinner
Pakistan has decided to leave out leg-spinner Usama Mir, opting instead for four quick bowlers. Iftikhar Ahmed, who took the new ball against Bangladesh, will serve as the team’s frontline spinner.
New Zealand’s Experienced Duo Returns
Experienced players Williamson and Sodhi are back in action, replacing Will Young and the injured Matt Henry. Their return is a significant boost for New Zealand, who started the World Cup with four consecutive wins but have since suffered three consecutive losses.
High Stakes for the 1992 Champions
Pakistan, the 1992 World Cup champions, need more than just a win. They need to secure a convincing victory to improve their net run rate and close in on New Zealand’s rate. This win, followed by another victory against England next Saturday, is crucial for keeping their semi-final dreams alive.
New Zealand’s Campaign Hangs in the Balance
Despite a strong start to the World Cup, New Zealand’s campaign is now teetering on the edge due to a string of losses and injuries to key players. Kyle Jamieson, who replaced Henry in the World Cup squad, has been left out of the playing XI for this match.
New Zealand’s Playing XI
Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee.
Pakistan’s Playing XI
Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim.