NZ v PAK 2024, 3 NZ players to watch out for in 1st T20I

Jan 12, 2024

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With the T20 World Cup around the corner, the series between New Zealand and Pakistan holds a lot of importance. Both teams would aim to finalise their playing XI and strategise their game plan to bring success. As per reports, Pakistan are likely to alter their opening combination, as Babar Azam is likely to bat in the middle order, with Mohammad Rizwan and Saim Ayub opening for them.

New Zealand are unlikely to make any such changes as they already have a very settled squad. Kane Williamson’s return to the shortest format will boost their confidence, while players like Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Glenn Phillips, Devon Conway and Tim Southee among a few others will be crucial for the Black Caps. Meanwhile, who are the three players who can make a difference in the first T20I against Pakistan? Let’s dissect:

3. Kane Williamson

Skipper Kane Williamson will give stability in the middle order. All the other batters around him are hard-hitters and because of the same, Williamson is expected to play the anchor role. If required, the skipper can accelerate as well and that’s what makes him a dangerous batter.

2. Daryl Mitchell

Daryl Mitchell is in remarkable form at the moment. He was sensational in the ODI World Cup and will aim to make a difference in the upcoming T20 World Cup as well. He is likely to play the role of a finisher, as their lower middle order looks a bit shaky at the moment.

1. Tim Southee

In the absence of Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee will be very important for the hosts in the upcoming five-match series. The 35-year-old has represented the Kiwis in 117 T20I matches and has picked up 147 wickets in the process. 

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