A long wait of 18 years for Pakistan to host New Zealand on their home soil has further increased after the tour was cancelled on the first matchday.
The runners-up of the last two WC editions would have hoped to have a better series in Pakistan than the last time around when they lost 5-0 under the leadership of Chris Cairns.
They were going to be without the services of some of their star players in K.Williamson, K. Jamieson, T.Boult, M.Santner, and L.Ferguson. They all will be participating in the IPL 2021 and are looking forward to getting some valuable playing time in the UAE conditions before the T20 World Cup.
Tom Latham was the captain for New Zealand for the tour in the discussion.
In this piece, we will be comparing the home and away stats of New Zealand in One Day Internationals, their record against Pakistan in ODI history, and Pakistan’s record at home.
Away Wins in One Day Internationals
New Zealand has played fewer matches in comparison to the previous three World Cup-winning teams. England has played 70 matches at home only after the 2015 WC, whereas New Zealand has played just 78 matches home and away in the same period. When coming to winning matches away from home, India is better than the rest of the teams but well known to any Indian fan, New Zealand has been the better team on the most crucial days, be it the semi-finals of the 2019 WC or the finals of the WTC 2019-21.
They have the best home record after the 2015 WC but they do struggle away from home. In comparison, India has been the same away or at home in the same time period. If New Zealand can start winning matches away from home they can further improve their ODI record which is on the rise for the last decade. The England cricket team has seen a drastic change in both home and away records in the two periods.
Pakistan and New Zealand through the decades
The decades of 1990 and 2010 can be said one of the best for Pakistan cricket. Winning the World Cup in 1992 under Imran Khan and having bowlers like Waqar and Wasim who used reverse swing in the death overs was a scene which is gone missing now not only from Pakistan cricket but also throughout International cricket. New Zealand cricket saw a slow but steady rise in the 1990s and 2000s. Reaching the semi-finals and then two consecutive finals is an exceptional achievement by the team. The retired dashing opener B. McCullum inculcated his game style into his leadership and also the brand of cricket New Zealand played. They play fearless cricket with confidence. It is simple yet effective. Kane Williamson has been a good successor to McCullum.
The 10 % dip in Pakistan’s winning percentage in ODI from 2000 to 2010 can be summed up by this line said by Nasser Hussain in the 2017 Champions trophy: “In the air gone! Not that important! He’s gone the next ball. Brilliant from Amir! Pakistan cricket at its best — one minute down, next minute up!”. This happened after Pakistan dropped Kohli just the ball prior to his dismissal. The fact that they won the 2017 CT by beating India in the finals after their poor performance in the group stage against the same opposition says a lot about the highs and lows of Pakistan Cricket.
Pakistan on Home Soil
The 2009 terror attack on the Sri Lankan team is the darkest day for Pakistan cricket. They are still recovering from the same and have had to play the majority of their home matches in UAE since then. Pakistan has a good record at home against New Zealand India and England. Australia and West Indies have managed to be dominant, probably as those tours were during the time when both the nations were on top of their game. Pakistan has a winning percentage of 58 % in UAE, but only 42 % after March 2009 when the attacks happened. Looking at all the stats of the last 10 years we can say that touring teams could have won more matches in Pakistan due to the inconsistency of the home team.
Every team is focused on the shorter format as the T20 World Cup is next month but New Zealand would have hoped to better their ODI record in Pakistan and also gain some form and momentum going into the T20 WC 2021. The last ODI series of Pakistan was a very poor outing when they lost to a second-string England team 3-0(3). The home series against New Zealand could have been a chance for some redemption in the 50 over format. Pakistan and New Zealand both lose out on 5 crucial T20Is and PCB has other financial concerns over their head now. NZC chief executive David White stated that it was not possible to continue with the tour after the advice from NZC security advisors about the increase in threat levels. The current priority for them is to look after the team’s departure.