Experienced all-rounder Jimmy Neesham believes that if New Zealand is to gain an advantage over Pakistan in the upcoming white-ball series, which includes five T20Is and as many ODIs, they must be at their best.
Neesham told a private broadcaster in Lahore prior to the first T20I that Pakistan is a good team in their home conditions.
“Pakistan is a really good team in their own conditions,” the 32-year-old added. “We have to be on top of our game to come out on top of the series, and hopefully we can use the experiences that a few of us have recently in these conditions.”
The Kiwi all-rounder also played for Peshawar Zalmi in the recently ended Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Lahore last month.
During the competition, the Auckland-born cricketer shared a changing room with Pakistan captain Babar Azam.
“I played a few games here during the PSL about a month ago, and I think the atmosphere has changed a little bit; it’s obviously a lot warmer now than it was then.” So, fundamentally, there’s a little bit more on offer for bowlers in terms of swing and that sort of thing,” Neesham explained.
“We’ve had a few achievements in this format over the last six or eight years, and we know how we operate, especially in these conditions.”
So, especially for the bowling attack, it’s about maintaining composure and trying to restrict those big overs,” said Neesham, who has played 71 ODIs and 63 T20Is for New Zealand.
In response to a question, the New Zealand all-rounder stated that the nature of cricket is such that there is no perfect plan for any batter, and all plans have advantages and disadvantages.
“We can only come up with theories but at the end of the day, it is up to the execution of the bowlers and sometimes potentially a bit of luck as well. So, we will go out there with good intentions and, and having plans in place,” he said. “But, the nature of players of the quality of Babar Azam is that sometimes the best plans don’t work. So, we just got to try and put our best foot forward and see what happens.”
In response to the lack of experience in the touring squad, the New Zealander stated that the team consists of a lot of energetic people who are eager to get out there and make their mark on international cricket.
“It’s great for the group’s culture as well to have that injection of young talent and young passion, and hopefully they get a chance to impress and show their wares in the next few days,” he added.