Live Cricket Streaming: New Zealand vs Pakistan ICC T20 World Cup
Pakistan have won the toss and elected to bat against New Zealand in the ICC World T20 clash in Kandy today.
New Zealand: RJ Nicol, JEC Franklin, BB McCullum (WK), LRPL Taylor (Captain), DL Vettori, JDP Oram, KS Williamson, NL McCullum, TG Southee, KD Mills, AF Milne
Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez (Captain), Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Kamran Akmal (WK), Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Yasir Arafat, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal
The Kiwis, led by a record 123-run knock by Brendon McCullum, registered a convincing victory over Bangladesh, but it would, by no means, be an easier proposition for Ross Taylor's boys against the former champions.
Pakistan are far better equipped than their Asian neighbours, and with a formidable bowling line-up that includes the likes of off-spinner Saeed Ajmal and speedster Umar Gul, they certainly have the necessary fire-power to put a tab on the Kiwis.
Pakistan's main worry, however, remain their inconsistent batting.
Pakistan's two most experienced campaigners in Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik have been woefully out of form and their top-order exhibits inexperience in the shortest format of the game.
Young Umar Akmal's form also remains a cause of concern for Hafeez. The 22-year-old has just managed 27 runs from his last four innings.
Pakistan's strength, however, is their bowling unit, which boasts of both experience and aggression.
While Ajmal would hold the key for Pakistan against the Black Caps, who are well known to flounder against quality spin, Gul, along with experienced Abdul Razzaq, will be responsible to keep the New Zealand top-order in check.
New Zealanders, on the other hand, need to work out on their opening combination.
They started with Rob Nicol and Martin Guptill in their warm-up tie against Australia, while James Franklin opened along side Guptill in the following two matches, including a warm-up game against South Africa.
But with McCullum having scored enough runs in the previous encounter, Taylor may well be tempted to resort back to Guptill-McCullum combination at the top.
The main worry for Taylor, like his Pakistani counterpart, is the side's inconsistent run with the bat.
Kiwi batsmen have shown lack of application and with little time spent at the crease in the build-up to the championship, they certainly have their work cut out against a quality Pakistan attack.