The Black Caps are in the UAE as the latest victims for World number one T20 side Pakistan.
All indications are that the short format series will tilt heavily in the direction of the Pakis, but at least it is safe to play cricket in New Zealand, whereas Pakistan is a little volatile.
New Zealand is ranked fifth in the world for the format, so they could surprise. If not, they could always suggest an ad-hoc one-off game of rugby, just to make the trip worthwhile.
Ladbrokes has the market priced at $1.44 for Pakistan and $2.75 for New Zealand. Not all that bad an outlook for the Black Caps.
Black Caps opener Colin Munro has been playing T20 in India, England and the Caribbean. He has a steady job in the Afghanistan Premier League, also playing in the UAE, because if there is one place in which you would rather be less than Pakistan, Afghanistan has to be that one place.
Munro offered some observations about the series with the Pakis.
“It’s a big challenge, especially in these conditions and with a few guys coming straight out of winter and not playing a lot of cricket. Obviously those are excuses. We’re going to play our brand of cricket and hopefully it’s good enough on the day,” Munro said.”Everyone is coming in with a little bit of confidence. Even Corey [Anderson] who hasn’t played for the Black Caps for a while did really well for Somerset this year. The guys who’ve gone overseas and played have done pretty well. Everyone is chomping at the bit and ready to go.”
The objective outlook is that if New Zealand is to capture a game or series victory, it will be of the upset variety. Australia was whitewashed, the men at least, while the women were returning the favour.
The Kiwis will be playing on the same pitch, which has been described as two-paced and Pakistan has exactly the sort of bowlers to take advantage of conditions of that sort.