Bengaluru November 3 2023: An early elimination final for Pakistan as a defeat to New Zealand would all but end their semi-final hopes, while the Black Caps need to snap a three-match losing streak to get their campaign back on track at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
Date and Venue
Saturday November 4, M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
New Zealand would have entered this match as a clear favourite just one week ago, but some injury concerns in the Kiwi camp and a form turnaround from Pakistan means it's difficult to determine who will emerge as the winner.
With question marks surrounding the fitness of key quicks Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry, New Zealand have called on the services of proven pacer Kyle Jamieson and the tall right-armer may be considered for this match should the Black Caps attempt to include him as a replacement player.
Skipper Kane Williamson will be monitored as he continues to recover from his thumb concern, while Pakistan look more settled now with the return of opener Fakhar Zaman to their line-up.
Fakhar torched Bangladesh with a stylish half-century last start and can often be relied upon to get Pakistan off to a fast start alongside the reliable Abdullah Shafique.
It will be interesting to see whether Pakistan include another specialist bowler against New Zealand, or continue to call on Iftikhar Ahmed to perform with the ball as he has done reasonably well over the last few games.
Pakistan will be hoping their quicks – led by freshly crowned No.1 ranked ODI bowler Shaheen Afridi - can put a massive dent in New Zealand's top order and this battle will go a long way in determining who comes out on top in Bengaluru.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim.