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Pakistan On The Rise

The Black Caps are a side in disarray.

Pakistan, who should be up against it considering the drama unfolding behind the scenes, looks streaks ahead of this Black cap unit.

The 1992 World Cup winners have managed to recreate the excitement and hunger that underlined their cricket a decade ago, and look an exciting unit.

The visitors’ head into this clash already having lost the series, and despite a consolation win early on, are in the worst cricketing form in recent history.

With the series already wrapped up, Pakistan may want to test their reserve strength in Auckland.

In the fifth ODI, Misbah-ul-Haq was responsible for a perfectly calculated and executed run chase. The Pakistani fast bowling department seems fired up and the top order is in good form.

This might very well be the side to watch with the World Cup only two weeks away.

The Black Caps on the other hand have some rather worrying selection choices to make.

Tim Southee will surely return, while the home team wait anxiously to see if Daniel Vettori recovers in time for this match.

Pakistan (probable): 1 Ahmed Shehzad, 2 Mohammad Hafeez, 3 Kamran Akmal (wk), 4 Younis Khan, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq, 6 Umar Akmal, 7 Shahid Afridi (capt), 8 Abdul Razzaq, 9 Wahab Riaz / Sohail Tanvir, 10 Umar Gul , 11 Shoaib Akhtar / Saeed Ajmal

New Zealand (probable): 1 Jesse Ryder, 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Jamie How, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Scott Styris, 6 James Franklin, 7 Brendon McCullum (wk), 8 Daniel Vettori (capt) / Nathan McCullum, 9 Jacob Oram, 10 Tim Southee / Hamish Bennett, 11 Kyle Mills.

With this being the last real international tester prior to this month’s main event, cast your eye on veteran Jacob Oram.

His batting has yet to make an impact in this series and as everyone knows- this man can clear the ropes. There are questions being asked of his inclusion in the side heading to Asia- with this being the perfect time to silence his critics.

Ross Taylor seemed to have rediscovered his touch with a fluent half century, and will look to build on this today.

For Pakistan look to Afridi as he looks to unleash following the much anticipated announcement that he will lead Pakistan in the World Cup. The pressure is off his shoulders and the result will be a wielding willow.

Both teams head in at evens today; however both has everything to gain from snapping up their last effective warm up game.

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