Just four international white ball players enter New Zealand’s home summer and two fringe players have delivered some amazing performances. Glenn Phillips became the fastest T20I centurion in New Zealand, and recently on Friday, Jacob Duffy returned New Zealand’s favorite T20I figures for the first time. Duffy will now reunite with his home side Otago, but nonetheless, New Zealand will not grow stronger thanks to Kane Williamson’s new father, Tim Southee and Trent Boult, the among others.
Look who’s back
Kane Williamson’s new father could not be kept off the nets as he returns to the T20 squad in Hamilton ahead of the 2nd T20I on Sunday night #NZvPAK #CricketNation pic.twitter.com/D2LhtbA538
– BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) 19 December 2020
Williamson returned to Seddon Park nets on the eve of the second T20I against Pakistan and received a warm welcome from his teammates and coaches. The captain is expected to return his No. 3 spot, with Devon Conway and Phillips moving down the order. New Zealand, however, will be without their gun spinner and local Hamilton Santner of Hamilton, who has rested after appearing T20 in the CPL and IPL, and then briefly as New Zealand’s T20I captain. Coach Gary Stead admitted Santner’s absence was a big loss, but was looking forward to trying out the alternative spinning options in Ish Sodhi and Todd Astle as management plans team for next year’s India T20 World Cup.
As for Pakistan, they have to shake off the rust, which was evident during the opening of the series at Eden Park. Mohammad Rizwan, a wicket opener, was working to 17 runs and the rest of the top order struggled to deal with the kick. Seddon Park isn’t likely to be as brittle as Eden Park was, but an unfamiliar side for a quick change to New Zealand conditions is difficult, as unstable captain Shadab Khan said.
Despite the troubles and top cheats in the field, Haris Rauf and Shaheen Afridi made a handful of Pakistani defenses and destroyed New Zealand’s central order at various locations. If Rauf and co. they could do more of the same and get more support from the bats, and Pakistan could well take the series to a decision at Maclean Park on Tuesday.
The last five completed games, the most recent first
New Zealand WWWLT (Missing Super Over)
Brendon McCullum was particularly pleased with the situation Tim Seifert put his ego aside and launched him into the middle order for the Trinbago Knight Riders in the CPL earlier this year. On Friday, Seifert sheltered his trick shots again – this time at the top – and pulled the chase deep. Over the winter, he has also been working on his wicket-keeping, and will end this year as a more accurate cricketer than he was at the start of 2020.
No one has taken more T20 wickets than Haris Rauf (55) and Shaheen Afridi (50) this year. Not even Rashid Khan though he benefited from playing more games than the Pakistan pair. With Pakistan batting appearing light without both Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman – it will appear even lighter if Mohammad Hafeez misfires again – Rauf and Afridi have to do the heavy lifting.
The hustle and bustle of being a new father meant that Williamson could not get enough sleep over the weekend, but it may be time that the opponents lost some sleep on how he put it. off him on the field. With several other first-choice players returning, Duffy, Doug Bracewell, Mark Chapman and Blair Tickner have all been eliminated from the squad. Santter Seterbury bowling alley and new father (ish) Daryl Mitchell are likely to replace Santner.
New Zealand (probably): 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Tim Seifert (wk), 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Devon Conway, 5 Glenn Phillips, 6 Jimmy Neesham, 7 Daryl Mitchell, 8 Scott Kuggeleijn / Kyle Jamieson, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Ish Sodhi
Abdullah Shafique, who turned 21 last month, could give him another chance to prove himself at the top alongside Rizwan. Allrounder Faheem Ashraf, who was the second highest scorer in Pakistan in the first T20I, could get another chance ahead of Iftikhar Ahmed.
Pakistan (probably): 1 Abdullah Shafique, 2 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 3 Haider Ali, 4 Mohammad Hafeez, 5 Shadab Khan (capt), 6 Khushdil Shah, 7 Imad Wasim, 8 Faheem Ashraf, 9 Wahab Riaz, 10 Shaheen Afridi , 11 Haris Rauf
Park and conditions
Seddon Park has been great for batting recently in white-ball cricket. The last T20I played at this venue gave India a Super-Over victory earlier this year. By then, the first side batting had won five out of nine T20Is in this spot.
Stats and trivia
- Since its launch on T20I in May 2015, Imad Wasim has built 21 wikis in the powerhouse at an excellent economy rate of 6.38. Only Oman’s Bilal Khan and England’s David Willey have more T20I wikis than Wasim in the first six pitches this period.
- Legspinner Sodhi needs four wikis to overtake Nathan McCullum as New Zealand’s second-highest goalkeeper in T20Is. Southee is currently at the top of the charts with 81 strikes.
- Shadab has taken the lead over Martin Guptill, having off his run in 18 balls in all T20 cricket for just 15 runs.
“They [Pakistan’s players] he did well in the National T20 and played well in the Zimbabwe series as well. But the circumstances are different because we played against Zimbabwe at home, not New Zealand. But the more cricket they play here, the better they will do. “
Captain of Pakistan Shadab Khan presenting the challenge to his team
“He’s very tired, a little bleary-eyed, I think. But overall, it hits them well. Just normal Kane, he finds out about his business.”
New Zealand head coach Gary Stead glad Williamson is back
Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo