ISLAMABAD – Pakistan opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad believes that the Kiwis are an awesome side but feels the green-shirts are well prepared and ready to put up a good show against the hosts at Eden Park on Friday.
Pakistan will play three T20 internationals and three ODIs against New Zealand. Shehzad said the Black Caps recent form is very good.
“They beat Sri Lanka 3-1 in the ODIs and 2-0 in the Twenty-20s but said that Pakistan has every chance of upsetting the hosts at Eden Park,” Stuff.co.nz quoted him as saying.
Shehzad paid tribute to Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum for leading New Zealand into an exciting new era.
“If any side is playing good cricket you have to appreciate that and try to match them. It raises your standard as well,” he said.
He said the evolution of cricket, with the introduction of T20 cricket, has changed rapidly in recent time. “Cricket is moving fast, way too fast. We have to match them. Whoever stays behind, or is left behind has no choice but to lose,” he said.
For all the talk of the Black Caps dominance, Shehzad sees a weakness in the home side’s bowling line up when it comes to spin bowling. The home team has three spinners in their current squad in Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi and the recently recalled Todd Astle and Shehzad who are all raw on the international stage.
“Daniel Vettori was a wonderful legend, and he is still performing in a couple of leagues, at the moment their spin side is an area that any team can target them but I think on this ground they won’t use that spin. They will come hard at us. The will try to stick to their strength which is fast bowling and batting.”
Shehzad said that Eden Park is basically a rugby ground which favors the batsmen. He said his team is aware of the ground’s unique dimensions after playing and winning previously at the venue.
“Sometimes you play rash shots, looking at the stadium and you lose your wickets. You have to pick and choose or you’ll lose your wicket and let your team down. The boundaries aren’t very big but we still have to play well and play proper cricket.”