Pakistan opts to bowl first against new Zealand in crucial ICC world cup 2023 clash.

BENGALURU (Web Desk) – In the 35th match of the ICC World Cup 2023 at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, Pakistan won the toss and chose to bowl first against New Zealand on Saturday.

The Kiwi’s skipper, Kane Williamson, who had been sidelined due to a thumb injury, is back in action, accompanied by the inclusion of leg-spinner Ish Sodhi. This change sees the injured Matt Henry and Will Young making way for these experienced players.

Pakistan, known for its formidable pace bowlers, welcomes back fast bowler Hasan Ali for this crucial match, considered a must-win encounter.

Earlier Coverage:

A loss to New Zealand would severely dent Pakistan’s semi-final aspirations, while the Black Caps are eager to halt a three-match losing streak and reinvigorate their campaign at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.

New Zealand was a clear favorite just a week ago, but recent injury concerns within the Kiwi squad and an upswing in form from Pakistan have added an element of uncertainty to the outcome of this match.

With uncertainties surrounding the fitness of key pacers like Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry, New Zealand has called upon the services of the accomplished pacer Kyle Jamieson, who might feature in this match as a replacement player.

Kane Williamson’s recovery from a thumb injury remains under observation, while Pakistan’s line-up has been bolstered with the return of opener Fakhar Zaman.

Fakhar displayed his significance by delivering a stylish half-century against Bangladesh in the previous match, often providing Pakistan with a rapid start alongside the dependable Abdullah Shafique.

It remains to be seen whether Pakistan includes another specialist bowler against New Zealand or continues to rely on Iftikhar Ahmed, who has performed reasonably well with the ball in recent games.

The battle between Pakistan’s quicks, led by the newly crowned No.1 ranked ODI bowler Shaheen Afridi, and New Zealand’s top order will be pivotal in determining the outcome in Bengaluru.

Fakhar Zaman’s explosive batting at the top of the order, setting the tone for Pakistan during the Powerplay, will be crucial in the face-off against New Zealand’s formidable pace duo of Trent Boult and Tim Southee.

If Fakhar can provide a strong start for Pakistan, it will pave the way for Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan to consolidate the innings during the middle overs.

On the New Zealand side, all-rounder Glenn Phillips has shown flashes of brilliance during the tournament but is yet to put together a match-winning performance. He delivered an impressive spell of 3/37 against Australia and contributed a half-century in the previous match against South Africa.

With several key players unavailable due to injuries, the onus is on Phillips to step up and exhibit his match-winning capabilities.



  • 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

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