Pakistan, New Zealand build towards World Cup with ODI Series

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Pakistan and New Zealand will face off in the first of three one-day internationals in Karachi Monday, with an eye on this year’s World Cup in India.

The preceding Test series between the two teams failed to produce a result in either of the two Tests — both in Karachi — ending a miserable season for both teams.

Pakistan failed to win any of their three Test se-ries at home, losing four of the eight Tests including their first-ever 3-0 whitewash at the hands of Eng-land.

New Zealand also failed to win any of their last six Tests. But Babar Azam is confident his team will do well in the limited over matches.

“Pakistan has proved themselves to be a good white-ball team and this series provides us a perfect launching pad to kickstart our World Cup prepara-tions,” said Azam of the World Cup in Octo-ber/November. Azam’s team won eight of the nine one-day internationals last year, including a 2-1 series win over a formidable Australia at home.

“We are a well-rounded side with solid batters and bowlers who have proved themselves time and again so I am confident of doing well in the coming series,” said Azam. Pakistan will miss pace spear-head Shaheen Shah Afridi who is recovering from a knee injury sustained in November last year, while spinning allrounder Shadab Khan is also out with a recent finger fracture.