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Pak vs NZ: Pakistan bowl first after winning toss in 1st ODI

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RAWALPINDI: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam on Thursday put New Zealand to bat first after winning the toss in the opening game of the five-match ODI series played at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi.

Batter Haris Sohail who suffered an injury during a practice session has been excluded from the side.

Babar said the pitch will be helpful later in the day for batting while NZ captain Tom Latham endorsed Pakistan’s decision, saying they will also bowl first had they won the toss.

“Our morale is high after winning the final T20I.”

The ODI series offers both sides the opportunity to feel out each other´s strengths and weaknesses ahead of the World Cup in India in October-November.

The Black Caps shocked the home side by squaring a preceding five-match Twenty20 series 2-2 despite missing eight players — including Kane Williamson — due to the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) or injury.

Under stand-in skipper Latham, New Zealand adapted to the conditions skillfully, roaring back from 2-0 down to win the third and fifth matches, with the fourth abandoned after rain.

Middle-order batter Mark Chapman has been added to the ODI squad after blazing 290 for just one dismissal in the T20 series — the most runs by a batter in a five-match T20I series.

Wicketkeeper-batter Tom Blundell, recently included in the five best cricketers of the year by Wisden, and middle-order batter Henry Nicholls further bolster the squad.

Head-to-head

Pakistan have won five of the seven ODI series that Azam has captained. His two losses came against England in 2021 and New Zealand in January this year.

But New Zealand boast recent dominance over Pakistan.

Of the last six ODI series between them, New Zealand have won five and drawn one. Their last series defeat against Pakistan was at home in 2011.

The other matches of the current series are in Rawalpindi on Saturday followed by Karachi on May 3, 5 and 7.

Playing XI

Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Shan Masood, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Agha Salman, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf

New Zealand: Chad Bowes, Will Young, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (c & wk), Mark Chapman, Henry Nicholls, Rachin Ravindra, Adam Milne, Ish Sodhi, Matt Henry, Blair Tickner

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Chairman, PCB Heads Meeting: Jason Gillespie, Gary Kirsten and the Committee for Selection

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PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi declared that the National Cricket Team will not include any player involved in misconduct and that there would be a zero-tolerance approach on disciplinary matters.

Chairman PCB announced during a thorough discussion on cricket matters that all players would need to play domestic cricket and that a fitness test would be required every three months.

He claimed that a new process would be developed for players looking to obtain a Nod of clearance for overseas leagues, and that N.O.C. would only be granted to those who satisfy the requirements.

The selection committee’s inclusion of head coach Gary Kirsten and bowling coach Jason Gillespie was also approved by the meeting.

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The captain of the Pakistan Shaheens’ white-ball team has been announced for the upcoming trip to Darwin.

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Mohammad Haris, a wicket-keeper batsman, has been chosen as the captain of Pakistan Shaheens for the two 50-over matches and nine-team Top End T20 series in Darwin, Australia. The matches will take place from 4-18 August.

Haris recently led Pakistan Shaheens in the ACC Men’s Emerging Teams Asia Cup 2023 in Colombo. In this tournament, Pakistan successfully defended their championship by defeating India with a margin of 128 runs.

The Pakistan Shaheens have already arrived in Darwin to play two four-day matches against Bangladesh ‘A’ on July 19-22 and July 26-29. Sahibzada Farhan is currently captaining the team in the longer format of the game.

Following the two four-day matches, the Shaheens will engage in 50-over matches against Northern Territory (NT) and Bangladesh ‘A’ on 4 and 6 August, respectively, prior to the start of the T20 series on 9 August.

The T20 competition includes additional teams such as ACT Comets, Bangladesh ‘A’, Melbourne Renegades, Melbourne Stars, Perth Scorchers, Northern Territory Strike, Adelaide Strikers, and Tasmania.

In addition, seven modifications have been implemented for the white-ball contests compared to the red-ball side.

Abdul Faseeh, Arafat Minhas, Arif Yaqoob, Jahandad Khan, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Imran Jnr, and Usman Khan are the replacements for Kamran Ghulam, Khurram Shahzad, Mehran Mumtaz, Mohammad Ali, Mubasir Khan, Tayyab Tahir, and Umar Amin.

The Pakistan Shaheens will participate in the Darwin series for the second consecutive year. In the previous year, NT Strike emerged victorious over Shaheens in the final of the Top End T20 Series with a margin of 46 runs. Subsequently, Pakistan Shaheens achieved a resounding victory over PNG by 224 runs and Northern Strike by 84 runs in the two One-day matches.

The white-ball squad of Pakistan Shaheens
Mohammad Haris is the captain of the team, and the other players in the squad are Abdul Faseeh, Arafat Minhas, Arif Yaqoob, Faisal Akram, Haseebullah (who is both a wicketkeeper and a batter), Muhammad Irfan Khan, Jahandad Khan, Kashif Ali, Mohammad Huraira, Mohammad Imran Jnr, Omair bin Yousuf, Sahibzada Farhan, Shahnawaz Dahani, and Usman Khan.

The personnel providing support to the players include Abdul Rehman as the head coach, Mohammad Masroor as the assistant coach-cum-manager, Mohammad Asad as the physiotherapist, Imranullah as the trainer, and Usman Hashmi as the analyst.

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Shaheen Afridi’s potential absence from the Bangladesh Test match is attributed to personal circumstances. Jason

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Jason Gillespie, the head coach of the Pakistan Red Ball team, may not be able to attend the Bangladesh Test owing to personal issues, as discussed informally with Shaheen Shah Afridi.

“Shaheen Afridi has accumulated a considerable amount of experience in the game of cricket,” remarked Jason Gillespie.

Jason Gillespie stated that Shaheen had bowled three times as much as Starc in a year. “Shaheen Shah Afridi is also involved in playing leagues across all three formats,” he stated.

The coach of the Pakistan cricket team emphasised the importance of effectively managing the workload of the fast bowlers from Pakistan. He specified that Shaan Masood will be leading the test crew.

“Although I have not yet had the opportunity to meet Shaan in person, I have been maintaining regular communication with him over the phone,” stated Jason Gillespie. Jason Gillespie stated that he encountered captain Babar Azam in Lahore.

The Pakistan team’s training camp for the upcoming series against Bangladesh is scheduled to commence in the first week of August.

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