Cricket in Pakistan continues its resurgence as Pakistan prepares to welcome recent World Test Champions New Zealand. With cricket fever gripping this cricket-mad nation, the schedule is packed, as the two nations will contest a three-match ODI series before taking each other on over five T20 matches. Both teams will be looking to use these matches to prepare for the upcoming T20 World Cup. Pakistan vs New Zealand 1st ODI 2021 will be played at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.
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Pakistan vs New Zealand 1st ODI 2021
Team News for Pakistan
Pakistan has had a hectic cricketing year but has played very little ODI cricket in 2021. They have played six ODI matches this year, winning two and losing four.
Babar Azam is one of the classiest batsmen in all of the world. Azam had a stunning series when Pakistan last played ODI games on their summer tour of England, scoring 177 runs across three ODI matches at an average of 59. Shaheen Afridi announced himself as a star on that tour in England. Much will be expected from him to lead the Pakistani bowling attack and continue to take vital wickets as he has done so far in his international career.
Likely playing 11 of Pakistan
Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmad, Imam-Ul-Haq, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi
Team News for New Zealand
New Zealand finally shredded the tag of ‘nearly men' when they beat India in the rain impacted World Test Championship final. Now, New Zealand will want to build some more momentum ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup.
The Kiwis have played a lot of cricket recently but have only played three ODIs this year, winning all three against Bangladesh. For the ODI part of the series, the Kiwis are resting star men Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, and Kyle Jamieson. Look for stand-in captain Tom Latham to star with the bat as an under-strength New Zealand side look to cause an upset on foreign soil.
Likely playing 11 of New Zealand
Tom Latham, Finn Allen, Hamish Bennett, Colin de Grandhomme, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry, Cole McConchie, Henry Nicholls, Rachin Ravindra, Blair Tickner, Will Young
Pitch and Weather Conditions
The weather in Rawalpindi this Friday is set to be blazing hot, with temperatures creeping into the low 30s. Interestingly, nine of the last 14 ODIs at this venue have been won by the chasing side. The average first innings score is 236, so expect slow, sticky conditions that will make batting difficult.
Match Result Prediction for Pakistan vs New Zealand 1st ODI 2021
New Zealand has a dismal record when playing in Pakistan, having lost 17 out of their last 20 ODI games. However, the ODIs between the two nations have been very lopsided in recent times, with Pakistan losing 12 out of their last 14 ODI matches against the Kiwis.
The betting is close, with Pakistan favoured at odds of 1.33 and New Zealand at 3.40. Playing in front of a boisterous home crowd and with all their star names available, Pakistan have to be fancied to get off to a winning start and go 1-0 up in the series.
Match Winner: Pakistan (1.33)
Place a bet on Pakistan winning in Pakistan vs New Zealand 1st ODI 2021 on Bet365.
Either team to win the toss can be backed at 1.91. On a pitch that has been difficult to score on, expect the team who wins the toss to choose to bowl first so that they can chase a total. Pakistan, playing an inexperienced New Zealand side, will want to win the toss so that they can apply pressure on the Kiwis during a second-innings run chase.
Top Batsman for Pakistan Prediction
It is hard to look beyond the star Pakistani batsman Babar Azam to be the home team's top run-scorer. He is the classiest player in this Pakistani team and is so often the glue that keeps a fragile batting line up together. Babar would himself want to put in a captain's innings in front of a passionate home crowd.
Babar Azam to be Pakistan's top-scoring batsman (3.00)
Place a bet on Babar Azam to be Pakistan's top batsman in Pakistan vs New Zealand 1st ODI 2021 on Betway.