Pakistan contingent is currently in quarantine in New Zealand as they prepare for face the hosts in three T20Is and two Tests, and there is only one thing that is certain in the current uncertain Covid-19 time – it won’t be easy to beat the Kiwis.
Here are the three main reasons why Babar Azam can return winless, in the series and in all the T20Is and Tests, from New Zealand.
1. Bad morale
After news of Pakistani players testing positive surfaced, the team must have seen a fall in their morale as, according to reports, many first team players were affected with the virus.
This could have led to drop in motivation, while a warning to send the whole squad home after some players breached the Covid-19 protocol was also not inspiring.
Pakistan players may be pumped up to beat New Zealand in the latter’s own yard after such humiliation, but with players in gloomy isolation, losing hope and feeling down may be the most probable outcome of the saga.
2. Lack of fitness and practice
Everyone knows about Pakistani’s love for food and our cricketers are just humans. With nothing much to do in hotel rooms, food might be the only entertainment they’ve had through the first half of their quarantine. Hence, a lack of practice may cause lethargy when they hit the ground.
All this may result in lack of efforts in the field and as the adage of catches win matches goes, a few slipups are a possibility too.
Pakistani players will have to put some extra yards in before the matches, otherwise, if they do just enough, the performances will also be just enough and New Zealand will roll over the Men in Green with ease.
3. New Zealand’s form
New Zealand may not have won many global cricketing tournaments, but they are not known for their big trophy cabinet, they are known for their consistency.
If they are not the best on a given day, you can surely expect them to be at their minimum best at least. Meanwhile, their opponents Pakistan are known to be the most mercurial cricketing side in the world – “one minute down, next minute up”.
It is this consistency in New Zealand’s performance that makes them a difficult side to beat and add home advantage to that and it becomes a perfect recipe for Pakistan’s destruction in the series.
Also, they are unbeaten in the T20Is in the series against West Indies. Their form can be seen in the fact that they have scored quickly in the first two matches, setting a 239-run target in first and chasing a 180-run target in just 16 overs in the second.
Meanwhile, Pakistani players last played cricket during the remaining matches of the PSL5.
Momentum will be on New Zealand’s side when they host Pakistan, first for T20Is and then for Tests. Babar will have to come up with a magical formula to lift the spirit of the players who will be feeling under the weather, homesick, and also out of form and practice. If the skipper can do that then he may not only go on to become a batting legend, but also a captain whose name would be written in golden words.