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Babar Azam Set To Surpass Shahid Afridi, On Verge Of Joining Elite List In T20Is

When Pakistan captain Babar Azam will take the field in the first T20I agaisnt New Zealand on Friday, he will become only the third player from his country to play 100 T20Is. Babar, who is tied on 99 appearances with Shahid Afridi, will join veteran all-rounders Shoaib Malik (123) and Mohammad Hafeez (119) in the elite list of Pakistan players with 100 or more appearances in the shortest format of the game. So far, Babar has scored 3,355 runs in T20Is with the help of two centuries and 30 fifties.

Speaking of the 1st T20I, The Babar Azam-led side will be determined to put on a show for their fans and quickly bounce back from their disappointing loss against Afghanistan in their previous series.

Skipper Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, and Haris Rauf are also back in the squad after missing the Afghanistan T20I series in Sharjah. Pakistan will be relieved to see their star T20I players back in action after they were sorely missed in their 2-1 loss to Afghanistan.

New Zealand faces a significant challenge. They will not only be playing T20Is in Pakistan for the first time, but they will also be missing several key players, including regular skipper Kane Williamson.

With numerous players currently involved in IPL, the inexperienced Black Caps will be led by Tom Latham. They can, however, take heart from their performance in the ODI series against Pakistan three months ago, where they won 2-1 despite having a much stronger squad at their disposal.

Squads:

Pakistan T20I squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood and Zaman Khan.

New Zealand T20I squad: Tom Latham (c), Chad Bowes, Mark Chapman, Dane Cleaver, Matt Henry, Ben Lister, Adam Milne, Cole McConchie, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Rachin Ravindra, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner and Will Young.

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