Pakistan ready to make changes
Don’t be surprised if Pakistan make a bunch of changes to their playing XI for tomorrow’s fourth ODI against New Zealand.
Fresh from Saturday’s 183-run annihilation by the Black Caps, captain Safraz Ahmed indicated changes are on the cards for the final two matches of the lost series.
Ahmed cut a forlorn figure after his team’s embarrassing defeat in Dunedin on Saturday, as the shell-shocked skipper attempted to explain what on earth had just gone down.
Considering he batted 63 minutes for his unbeaten 14 from 28, and stood at the nonstriker’s end and watched many of his teammates come and go in a pitiful batting dis- play, he had a close-up view of much of the debacle.
‘‘It’s very disappointing,’’ Ahmed said after his team folded for 74. ‘‘After the first innings, our bowlers did the job for us, but again the batting is not clicking.
‘‘We gift so many wickets and that’s why we lost the match.’’
‘‘First of all, the credit goes to them, they bowled really well.
‘‘We worked really, really hard in the nets when we arrived here in Dunedin. So we had two good practice days but we’re not performing on the ground.’’
Pakistan’s top five combined for just 13 runs in the third loss of the series, and seven batsmen failed to crack doublefigures. Dead and buried in the five-match series with two matches to play – in Hamilton tomorrow and Wellington on Friday – Pakistan will need to dig deep to salvage anything from what’s so far been a disastrous tour.
Ahmed said the team would come up with a plan of attack for the final two games.
If the visitors think for a moment New Zealand are going to button off and rest some bodies, they’re most probably mistaken.
Black Caps bowler Trent Boult, who destroyed their top order and finished with 5-17 at the University Oval, indicated a string of changes are unlikely for the two dead rubber games.
However, it’s likely New Zealand coach Mike Hesson will give all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme the nod, possibly at Seddon Park tomorrow.
De Grandhomme was back with the team in Dunedin after the sudden death of his father in Zimbabwe last month but didn’t make the playing XI on a low and slow wicket.
Batsman Ross Taylor, fresh from striking his 40th ODI half century, is set to become the seventh Black Cap to play at least 200 ODIs.
Taylor will join Daniel Vettori (295), Stephen Flemming (280), Brendon McCullum (260), Chris Harris (250), Nathan Astle (223) and Chris Cairns (214) on the list with 200-plus appearances.