Babar Azam upbeat as Pakistan prepare for T20 World Cup with New Zealand challenge

Meanwhile, New Zealand stand-in skipper Michael Bracewell said that the visitors were confident of challenging Pakistan despite the absence of some big names.

“I think there was a few guys missing last year from this series when New Zealand played Pakistan this time last year,” Bracewell said.

“And I think that series showed that we can compete against these guys. I think this will be a great challenge for us, coming in here and getting our feet on the ground pretty quickly and getting used to the conditions here in Pakistan.”

The five-game series kicks off in Rawalpindi on 18 April.

Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (c), Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Amir, Irfan Khan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Usama Mir, Usman Khan, Zaman Khan.

New Zealand squad: Michael Bracewell (c), Tom Blundell, Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Jacob Duffy, Dean Foxcroft, Ben Lister, Cole McConchie, Jimmy Neesham, Will O’Rourke, Tim Robinson, Ben Sears, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Zak Foulkes.

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