Kane Williamson will perhaps lead New Zealand for the last time in this series © Getty Images
Kane Williamson will perhaps lead New Zealand for the last time in this series © Getty Images

New Zealand take on Pakistan in the second One-Day International (ODI) at Napier on Thursday. New Zealand handed out a 70-run thrashing in the first ODI courtesy of an excellent under pressure knock from Henry Nicholls, who top-scored with 82. Mitchell Santner and Matt Henry scored 48 runs each, batting at No. 8 and No. 9 respectively that took New Zealand to 280 for 8 in 50 overs after they were reduced to 99 for 6 in the 23rd over. Pakistan do have a few positives to take from the game. Mohammad Aamer was the pick of their bowlers, finishing with 3 for 28 in 8.1 overs. Anwar Ali and Mohammad Irfan too were among the wicket-takers for the visitors. FULL SCORECARD: Pakistan vs New Zealand 2nd ODI at Napier

Pakistan got off to a decent start but barring the 81-run partnership between Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez for the third wicket there weren’t many highlights for Pakistan with the bat. New Zealand kept getting wickets at regular intervals and despite a few batsmen getting starts, they could not go on to make a big score, which eventually cost Pakistan. Trent Boult and Grant Elliott were impressive with the ball as they shared seven wickets between them. READ: New Zealand Cricket reprimands stadium announcer for taunting Mohammad Aamer during 3rd T20I against Pakistan

New Zealand are forced to make a change as Mitchell McClenaghan, who was struck on the grill, right below his eye will have to undergo a cosmetic surgery on Friday. Doug Bracewell has therefore replaced him in the squad. Mohammad Aamer had some issues with his leg in the first ODI and as a result Anwar Ali had to finish one of his overs. But the injury does not seem be a major one and Aamer will be available for selection in the second ODI as well and in all likeliness, will retain his place as well. READ: Pakistan vs New Zealand 2015-16: Bracewell replaces injured McClenaghan for remainder series

BJ Watling will take over the wicketkeeping gloves from Luke Ronchi for the remainder of the series. Ronchi was named in the squad only for the first ODI. This will be Watling’s first ODI since playing against England at Auckland nearly three years back.

Pakistan performed really well in the first match in parts but were not consistent throughout the match. They should know how to bundle the tail out cheaply, else the extra runs could cost them eventually, like it did in the first ODI. It’s their batting that seems to be the weak link. With the talents of Mohammad Rizwan and Shoaib Malik warming the bench, they could come in handy if they are part of the playing XI.

Kane Williason will once again lead the team in the absence of Brendon McCullum. The latter is however on course to make a return for the third and final ODI at Auckland.

New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Tom Latham (first two ODIs), Brendon McCullum (third ODI), Kane Williamson, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Grant Elliott, Corey Anderson, BJ Watling (wk), Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Matt Henry, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell.

Pakistan: Azhar Ali (c), Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sohaib Maqsood, Zafar Gohar, Imad Wasim, Anwar Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Wahab Raiz, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Aamer.

Time: 6:30 IST | 14:00 local | 01:00 GMT

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)