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Babar or Shadab? Who will lead Pakistan against New Zealand?

Pak vs Aus: Shadab Khan's availability in doubt

Babar Azam will once again take charge as captain in the upcoming T20I and ODI series against New Zealand. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will announce the T20I and ODI squads after consulting with Babar, following his arrival in Lahore on March 30th. The selection committee meeting is expected to take place on April 3rd or 4th.

Despite the disappointing series loss to Afghanistan, few changes are expected for the T20I matches against New Zealand. The PCB may opt for a strategy of giving young players another chance in the T20I series, with Usama Mir, Haseebullah, and Abrar Ahmed in contention for selection.

However, the PCB officials have decided to avoid more experimentation in the ODI matches. The team management will focus on selecting a potent combination of senior players to prepare for the 2023 World Cup. A training camp is likely to be held at the National Cricket Academy from April 7th or 8th, where both T20I and ODI squad players will train together.

After the selected players depart for the T20I series, the rest of the players will continue training at the National Cricket Academy for the ODI matches. Due to Ramadan, there is a proposed plan to train at night, but the final decision will be made after consultation with the team’s captain.

The series schedule includes five T20Is and five ODIs. The T20I matches will be played in Lahore and Rawalpindi, starting from April 14th, while the ODI matches will be played in Rawalpindi and Karachi from April 26th to May 7th.

Pakistan’s ODI team will look to improve their performances after losing the last six consecutive ODI matches, including a series defeat against South Africa earlier this year. On the other hand, New Zealand’s T20I and ODI teams are in good form, having recently defeated Bangladesh and Australia, respectively.

Overall, the upcoming series against New Zealand will be a crucial test for Babar Azam and his team, as they aim to bounce back from the series loss against Afghanistan and improve their rankings in the T20I and ODI formats.

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