Pakistan vs New Zealand, first T20, today

In bilateral T20I encounters, Pakistan and New Zealand have been neck-to-neck with the former's slight dominance.

Pakistan's varied bowling attack defended totals of 155, 147 and 150 against Australia but New Zealand's top order of Colin Munro, skipper Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor are expected to be a sterner test than Australia's mis-firing batsmen.

Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (C/wk), Fakhar Zaman, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Asif Ali, Hassan Ali, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Usman Khan Shinwari and Imad Wasim.

Pakistan are coming off an excellent 3-0 whitewash series win over Australia in this format and they come into this series aiming to make this their 11 consecutive series victory so form is strong and they will be fired up to get another win.

New Zealand return to action after not playing internationally for seven months but the vast majority of their squad have been playing plenty of cricket in recent months with Glenn Phillips, Corey Anderson and Mark Chapman all playing for New Zealand A against Pakistan A in Dubai recently.

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Shoaib Malik is expected to be back in the side on Wednesday after his wife and global Tennis player Sania Mirza gave birth to a baby boy on Tuesday.

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However opener Fakhar Zaman is still sidelined with the knee problem that forced him to sit out Sunday's game against Australia in Dubai.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (C), Colin de Grandhomme, Corey Anderson, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor and Ajaz Patel. Captain Kane Williamson said that his team is wary of their opponents' prowess in this format and will play accordingly.

"That's something we've known for a long time".

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"They are extremely strong in these conditions". They have announced an unchanged T20 squad that beat Australia recently.

"He's obviously a world class player for us and a big performer".

The Pakistan players are fully accustomed to the Dubai and Abu Dhabi pitches and have won 10 T20 series in a row. The two teams will then play three Tests and three one-day internationals.

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