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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Babar Azam opts to bat in series decider against New Zealand

News ECG: Babar Azam decided to bat against New Zealand in the series finale. This comes after Pakistan, which had won the opening game, decided to bowl. The hosts made two changes from the team that lost, while the visitors kept the same line up after tying the series two days earlier.

Vice-captain Shan Masood replaced opener Imam-ul-Haq, and right-arm fast Mohammad Hasnain replaced Naseem Shah in a like-for-like substitution. Masood was appointed as the series’ deputy despite having only participated in five ODIs to far, the latest of which was in March 2019.

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After making his T20I debut against England in September and returning to the Test squad against the same opponent in December, he has now returned to the national side across all forms, although only averaging 22.20 in those games. Hasnain, who has taken 12 wickets in eight games at an average of 37.91, will also be playing an ODI after almost two years.

Pakistan’s lengthy home season, during which they lost the T20I and Test series to England before drawing the Tests 0-0 against New Zealand, comes to an end with the third ODI against New Zealand. New Zealand came back to win the second game of the current series by 79 runs after Pakistan had won the first game by six wickets.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Devon Conway, Finn Allen, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, and Lockie Ferguson.

Pakistan: Usama Mir, Mohammad Wasim, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf, Shan Masood, Mohammad Rizwan, Haris Sohail, Agha Salman, Mohammad Nawaz, and Babar Azam (captain)

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