Pakistan will be hoping to bounce back from their humiliating 5-0 loss in the ODI series when they meet New Zealand in the first of three T20 internationals at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Monday.
The men in green were outplayed by the hosts in all departments in the 50-over series. Their miseries further extended when veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik was ruled out of the series after suffering a delayed concussion during the fourth ODI at Hamilton.
Top order woes continued to haunt Pakistan throughout the series. However, it has been boosted by the return of Ahmed Shehzad, who was dropped for the ODI series. The dashing right-hander was in splendid form in the recently-concluded Departmental One-Day Cup in Karachi where he notched up 398 runs in seven games at 67.16 with two centuries while representing Habib Bank.
Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam both failed to make an impact in the ODI series and would be hoping to rediscover their form.
In the bowling department, Mohammad Amir is expected to return to lead the pace attack after being left out for the fifth ODI.
It is unclear that Hassan Ali will be available for the game as he is still recovering from the groin injury, which kept him out of the last ODI. In case he misses out again, Rumman Raees is likely to replace him. Aamer Yameen and Faheem Ashraf are the other seam option in the line-up.
Shadab Khan will lead the spin attack and will be assisted by Haris Sohail and Mohammad Nawaz.
New Zealand, on the other hand, will be looking to extend their home domination after a morale-boosting win in the ODI series.
Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme and skipper Kane Williamson himself all have been in fine form and will be raring to go all guns blazing in the Willington contest.
Tim Southee will spearhead the hosts’ bowling attack in the absence of Trent Boult who has is given rest for the first game. Ben Wheeler is the likeliest second seamer in their playing XI.
Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi will perform the spin duties for them.
Ahmed Shehzad, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (Captain/Wicketkeeper), Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali/Rumman Raees
Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Colin de Grandhomme Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson (Captain), Glenn Phillips (Wicketkeeper), Ben Wheeler, Tom Bruce, Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner