Nz vs Pak T20: Pakistan coach Misbah praises New Zealand after series defeat, says “Kiwis utilised their resources well in T20I series”

Nz vs Pak T20:Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq on Monday said that New Zealand utilised their resources and conditions well in the first two T20Is of the three-match series.

Misbah’s remarks came as Pakistan was at the wrong end of the result in the first two T2OIs of the three-match series. In the first T20I, New Zealand emerged triumphant by five wickets while the hosts won the second match by nine wickets as Tim Seifert and Kane Williamson played match-winning knocks.

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“It is disappointing to lose the T20I series against a well-settled New Zealand side, who utilised their resources and conditions to their advantage. We need to up our skill and improve our individual and team performances, including in Tuesday’s match, and the sooner we get these sorted the better it will be in term of player confidences and team results as 2021 will not be any easier as we have two major events,” said Misbah in an official PCB release.

Earlier on Monday, PCB announced a 17-member squad for the upcoming Test series against New Zealand. Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq would not be playing the first two Tests due to injuries.

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“Contrary to the T20I side, the Test side appears to be pretty organised and we boast some experienced cricketers, both in batting and bowling departments. With some competitive cricket on the tour now under the belt, I am hoping we will be a better outfit in the longer version of the game,” said Misbah.

“Although it will be nearly two weeks to Babar’s injury when the first Test starts, it will be hard on him and the team to play him without any net sessions. I remain confident and optimistic that other players will rise to the occasion in Mount Maunganui and use the opportunity to rise to the occasion and put the disappointment of the T20I series behind them,” he added.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), in a statement on Monday, said that Babar had fractured his right thumb a day after Imam had fractured his left thumb during training sessions in Queenstown last week. Both are yet to return to nets with the team’s medical staff closely monitoring their progress, PCB said.

“Decision on their participation in the second Test, which commences in Christchurch on 3 January, will be made closer to the time,” the statement read.

In Babar’s absence, Mohammad Rizwan will captain the Pakistan side in the first Test. When he steps out for the toss on Saturday, he will become Pakistan’s 33rd captain to lead the side in the traditional format of the game.

Pakistan squad for Tests: Mohammad Rizwan (captain for 1st Test), Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, and Yasir Shah. (Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq not available for the first Test)