Rain Threatens Pakistan’s Preparations for Fourth T20 Against New Zealand

Pakistan will be exerting significant effort to win the fourth T20 International of the five-match series against New Zealand, taking place today (Thursday) on a batting-friendly track. Pakistan won the first two T20Is, but New Zealand managed to keep the series alive by winning the third T20I in a nail-biting finish. The fourth match will be held at Pindi Stadium, where the fate of the series will be determined.

However, the weather in the twin cities threatens to disrupt preparations, as there is a forecast of rain, thunderstorms, and lightning. On Wednesday evening, persistent rain forced the cancellation of the scheduled training session, making it difficult for teams to leave their hotels. The possibility of Chand Raat occurring on Thursday evening and Eid on Friday also adds interest to the situation, depending on the sighting of the Shawwal moon.

The Pakistan camp received a fresh boost from the addition of Mickey Arthur for a couple of days, which gave a new perspective to the team’s preparation. Arthur discussed different aspects of training and preparation with the coaching staff and senior players, focusing on the series and events leading up to the World Cup in October to be held in India.

Pindi Stadium has already produced some stunning run-scoring tracks, with the visiting England team and the Pakistan Super League participants making full use of the opportunities offered to them. This time around, the surface is expected to offer an exciting run-scoring flare for the batters, while the overcast and rainy weather could see pace and seam bowlers getting something out of the wicket.

The Pakistan camp is considering giving lanky Ishanullah the opportunity to flex his muscles, as he made a huge impact on international cricket during the series against Afghanistan at Sharjah, where he at times looked unplayable.

With the wicket at the Pindi Stadium having proper bounce, his inclusion could be ideal for the occasion, possibly replacing Naseem Shah, who was drafted in place of Zaman Khan for the third T20 at the Gaddafi Stadium. Meanwhile, Mohammad Rizwan has regained fitness from the back problems he faced during the second T20.