Pakistan continues with the same squad which whitewashed Australia earlier last Week.
Pakistan maintained their top spot in the ICC T20 ranking with a 3-0 whitewash of Australia in Dubai on Sunday, cementing their place as the leading lights of the game’s shortest format.
Speaking to the media, Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed admitted New Zealand, two points behind Australia in the world rankings having played three fewer matches, will be a tougher opponent.
“They [New Zealand] have a strong team with ideal batsmen for T20 and a balanced bowling attack so we need to set the tone from the first game by winning it,” said Sarfraz.
He added, “We want to carry forward the winning momentum of the Australia series.”
Pakistan has won 10 of their 18 previous T20 internationals against New Zealand.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is also aware of the threat posed by Pakistan and said his team needed to be at their best to beat the top team.
“Obviously, Pakistan are a strong side,” said Williamson.
“That’s something we’ve known for a long time. The last time we played against them was at home in New Zealand and it was a tough series,” added Williamson of the January series Pakistan won 2-1.
“They are extremely strong in these conditions. Their rankings suggest that as well. They have had a lot of success in the format in recent times.”
Pakistan have named an unchanged side to face New Zealand. However, opener Fakhar Zaman is still sidelined with the knee problem that forced him to sit out Sunday’s game against Australia in Dubai.
The remaining two matches of the three-match series will be played in Dubai on November 3rd and November 4th. The two teams will then play three Tests and three one-day internationals.
The match between Pakistan and Australia will start at 9pm Pakistan Standard Time.
Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain, wicketkeeper), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Asif Ali, Hassan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Babar Azam, Sahibzada Farhan, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Waqas Maqsood, Usman Khan Shinwari, Hussain Talat, Imad Wasim, Fakhar Zaman
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Corey Anderson, Mark Chapman, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips (wicketkeeper), Seth Rance, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor