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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

Pakistan bowlers 'can trouble' New Zealand despite absence of key players, insists Sarfraz Ahmed

Kiwis prepare for Pakistan's arrival with an ODI series whitewash of West Indies.

Pakistani captain Sarfraz Ahmed practices in the nets in Lahore ahead of the tour of New Zealand. Arif Ali / AFP
Pakistani captain Sarfraz Ahmed practices in the nets in Lahore ahead of the tour of New Zealand. Arif Ali / AFP

Pakistan still have bowlers who can put pressure on New Zealand in their upcoming one-day series despite the absence of Junaid Khan, Usman Shinwari and Imad Wasim through injury, captain Sarfraz Ahmed said on Tuesday.

"It's unfortunate that three of our key bowlers are injured but we still have good bowlers who can trouble New Zealand," he said, highlighting Hasan Ali who was declared player of the Champions Trophy in England this year with 13 wickets.

Pakistan's 15-man squad flies early Wednesday to play five one-day internationals followed by three Twenty20s, with the first ODI in Wellington on January 6.

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"We have done the best preparation for the tour and all the players are in good form so we will do our best on the New Zealand tour," he said.

"Apart from opener Fakhar Zaman, all other players have played in New Zealand before so they know about the tough conditions and about the New Zealand team. So we are ready for the challenges."

New Zealand will enter the series against Pakistan on the back of an ODI series whitewash against the West Indies after winning the third and final match on Tuesday.

The hosts defeated the West Indies by 66 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method thanks to an unbeaten 47 from Ross Taylor, and three wickets apiece for Mitchell Santner (3-15) and Trent Boult (3-18).

New Zealand rested senior batsman Kane Williamson and bowler Tim Southee, and stand-in captain Tom Latham said less experienced players were stepping up, which was promising for the future.

"Obviously it was an outstanding performance today," Latham said. "It was nice that we managed to scrap to a total and the way the boys came out and did the job with the ball was outstanding."

For West Indies, it was another disappointing display with the bat, and captain Jason Holder has urged his side to seek imprvements ahead of the tour-concluding three-match Twenty20 series starting in Nelson on Friday.

"It's unfortunate with the batting, we lost wickets up front again and were not able to build momentum," Holder said.

"It's not an easy place to start with the ball swinging, but we've got to give ourselves a bit more of a chance to get started."

Holder also saw critical problems in his bowling line-up after New Zealand were restricted to 83-3 in 19 overs when the rain set in but then cracked 48 in four overs after the resumption.

"I think our death bowling can be a lot better," he said.