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  5. NZ vs PAK: Pakistan make 3 massive changes for must-win clash against New Zealand in 3rd T20I

NZ vs PAK: Pakistan make 3 massive changes for must-win clash against New Zealand in 3rd T20I

Pakistan are 0-2 down in the five-match series and have a last chance to stay alive. Their bowling attack has conceded 226 and 193 runs in two matches so far but apart from Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman (in 2nd game), none of the batters have clicked on this tour yet.

Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar @adikukalyekar New Delhi Published on: January 16, 2024 14:08 IST
Pakistan vs New Zealand
Image Source : GETTY Pakistan team

Pakistan tour to New Zealand has not gone according to plans so far. New skipper Shaheen Afridi is having a tough time at the start of his stint having lost two matches of the five-match series and is staring at a must-win situation in the third game set to be played on January 17 at the University Oval in Dunedin. The venue gives a bit of a hope for Pakistan as it is generally on the slower side and that has led them to recalling their spin-bowling all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz at the expense of underperforming Usama Mir.

Perhaps, the visitors have announced the playing XI for the must-win clash on Wednesday (January 17) making three changes from the last game. Abbas Afridi has been ruled out of this clash due to discomfort from a low grade abdominal wall muscle strain. Even though the injury is not serious, he is currently under observation and will be managed symptomatically according to a release from PCB. Mohammad Wasim Junior has been included in his place while Zaman Khan has replaced Aamer Jamal who was the find of Australia tour in Tests.

Interestingly, despite poor performances in the first two matches, Iftikhar Ahmed and Azam Khan both have retained their place in the line-up with the management showing trust on them. Both players disappointed more so in the second T20I as they came out to bat when Pakistan were in a good position in the chase. Fakhar Zaman had just returned to the pavilion but not before smashing a 25-ball fifty and Pakistan needed 98 runs off 62 balls at that stage which is possible in modern era.

But both of them were back in the hut within next 17 deliveries in the innings as Iftikhar could muster four runs while Azam scored only two runs. Pakistan's innings derailed from here and were bundled out for 173 runs in the final over of the innings. Pakistan will now be hoping to put up a team performance to beat the Kiwis and stay alive in the series.

Pakistan's playing XI for 3rd T20I: Mohammad Rizwan (VC), Saim Ayub, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Azam Khan (WK), Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Haris Rauf, Zaman Khan

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