Pakistan announce 12-man squad for first ODI against New Zealand

Pakistan announced on Wednesday a 12-member squad for the first One-Day International (ODI) against New Zealand scheduled at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Friday.

The management has picked a full-strength squad for the inaugural game that will be New Zealand’s first on Pakistani soil in 18 years.

Led by all-format captain Babar Azam, with Shadab Khan as his deputy, the team includes three openers; Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, and Mohammad Rizwan.

It also includes three leg-spin options with Shadab Khan, Zahid Mahmood, and Usman Qadir. One of them is likely to miss out on the final XI.

Left-arm quick Shaheen Shah Afridi will lead the pace attack with Hasan Ali and Haris Rauf.

The middle-order of the side looks rather young on paper, as it includes Saud Shakil, and Iftikhar Ahmed, with Babar Azam being the only batsman with more than 50 matches.

Here is the 12-man squad:

Babar Azam (captain)

Shadab Khan (vice-captain)

Fakhar Zaman

Haris Rauf

Hasan Ali

Iftikhar Ahmed

Imam-ul-Haq

Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper)

Saud Shakil

Shaheen Shah Afridi

Usman Qadir

Zahid Mahmood

The second and third ODIs will be played on September 19 and 21. All three ODIs are day-night affairs and will be played at the Pindi Cricket Stadium. The matches start at 2:30 pm local time and will be broadcast on PTV Sports.

The series will be a bilateral affair and will be not be counted towards the ICC World Cup Super League fixtures due to the lack of a DRS facility.

It will be followed by a five-match T20I series that will be played between September 25 and October 3.