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07-Dec-2014 13:50:00 GMT
New Zealand v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Dubai

Pakistan, New Zealand Build for World Cup

Dubai: Pakistan and New Zealand start a five-match one-day series in Dubai on Monday with the focus on building confidence and momentum for next year's World Cup, which is just two months away.

It promises to be a keenly-fought contest after they ended honours even in both the three Test matches and the two-match Twenty20 series.

Pakistan have recalled experienced batsman Younus Khan after dropping him from the three-match one-day series against Australia which they lost 3-0 in October - also played in the United Arab Emirates.

Pakistan have been missing ace spinner Saeed Ajmal, suspended for an illegal bowling action two months ago and their problems were further compounded when all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez's action was also reported last month.

A report on Hafeez's action is expected next week and if he is suspended, Misbah believes it will hurt his team's balance. "We were jolted after Ajmal's suspension and if Hafeez is not there then our balance will be affected," admitted Misbah.

New Zealand's stand-in captain Kane Williamson - Brendon McCullum left after the Tests to prepare for the home series against Sri Lanka - said Pakistan remain a dangerous side even without Ajmal.

New Zealand play two Tests and seven one-day internationals against Sri Lanka starting later this month.

Allrounder Corey Anderson will return after missing the second Twenty20 as a precautionary measure after being hit by a bouncer in the first Twenty20 on Thursday, but opener Martin Guptill is still being monitored for a tight hamstring.

The remaining one-day matches will be played in Sharjah (December 12 and 14) and Abu Dhabi (December 17 and 19).

Teams from:

Misbah-ul Haq (Capt.), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Asad Shafiq, Bilawal Bhatti, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Irfan, Nasir Jamshed, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Younus Khan, Zulfiqar Babar.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (Capt.), Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi (wk), Dean Brownlie, Anton Devcich, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, James Neesham, Ross Taylor, Daniel Vettori.

Pitch and condition
Temperatures vacillating between 19 and 29 degrees Celsius.

Stats and trivia

  • Of 89 ODIs between these two teams, Pakistan have 51 wins as against New Zealand's 35. One match ended in a tie, while two yielded no-results.

Match facts
Monday December 8, 2014 (day/night)
Start time 15:00 local (11:00 GMT)

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