NZ vs PAK: Babar Azam organises special training while Black Caps go full throttle at nets

New Zealand on Tuesday hit the nets with utmost enthusiasm as the Black Caps gear up to take on Pakistan in the first semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2022, to be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday.

While Black Caps captain Kane Williamson led the charge at the nets on the eve of the much-awaited clash, the likes of Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Trent Boult among others also hit the practice session on the eve of the semis.

Williamson has struggled for form in the ongoing showpiece event in Australia but was back among runs with a scintillating 61 off 35 balls against Ireland in their final Super 12 match on Friday in Adelaide. New Zealand fans would be hoping that their talismanic skipper continues the momentum against a fiery Pakistani bowling attack in the semi-final encounter.

Notably, Williamson has scored just 132 runs in four matches at an average of 33 and strike rate of 118.92 with a highest score of 61, which as mentioned above came against Ireland. However, among all four captains in the T20 World Cup 2022 semis, Williamson’s 132 runs are the highest.

Whereas, Glenn Phillips’ form has been one of the high points for New Zealand in this T20 World Cup. The Black Caps middle order batter is the third-highest run-scorer in the ongoing tournament with 195 runs, behind Virat Kohli (246) and Suryakumar Yadav (225). Phillips had lit up the World Cup with a flashy century (104 off 64) vs Sri Lanka and half-century (62 off 32) vs England in the Super 12 stage of the tournament.


With Pakistan having a superior head-to-head record against New Zealand, the Black Caps would want their batting unit to fire all cylinders in the must-win encounter.

Pakistan have won 17 of the 28 T20Is between the teams, including four of their six clashes in previous editions of this tournament.

Babar Azam’s special initiative to return to form

Meanwhile, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, who has had a torrid tournament with the bat took the initiative of training alone on the eve of the semi-finals. The Men in Green weren’t scheduled to train on Tuesday but Babar hit the nets along with a few support staff in a bid to find some rhythm ahead of the semi-final clash against New Zealand.


Babar took a few throwdowns as he was seen timing the ball well at the nets. However, he will have a different challenge altogether when he faces the likes of New Zealand pace duo Trent Boult, Tim Southee with the new ball. Before Pakistan’s last Super 12 stage against Bangladesh, Babar didn’t touch the double-digit mark even once in the tournament.


Though the Pakistan captain scored 25 runs against the Bangla Tigers, he took 33 balls at a strike rate of 75 which ended up irking plenty of Pakistani fans and pundits. In total, Babar has scored just 39 runs in five matches at an average of 7.80 and strike rate of 61.90 in the ongoing T20 World Cup.

New Zealand take on Pakistan in the first semi-final of T20 World Cup at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday.

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