In the upcoming clash between Pak vs NZ at Hagley Oval, Christchurch, on Sunday, Daryl Mitchell, the key middle-order batter for the Kiwis, will be notably absent. Despite his impressive knock of 72 runs in the previous game, Mitchell is taking a break for workload management.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) explained the situation, stating, “Daryl Mitchell will miss the final match of the KFC T20I Series against Pakistan at Hagley Oval as part of ongoing workload management.” Gary Stead, New Zealand’s head coach, confirmed that Rachin Ravindra will step in for Mitchell against Shaheen Afridi’s side.
Stead emphasized Mitchell’s importance but highlighted the need for ensuring he’s at his best for international cricket. He added, “Rachin is coming off a period of rest himself and will bring a valuable skill set to the group in this final match as he continues his return to cricket.”
Ravindra, who has played 18 T20I matches, will face the challenge of replacing Mitchell. However, his track record in the shorter format, with 145 runs in 16 innings at an average of 13.18 and a strike rate of 117.88, raises questions about his form.
New Zealand Cricket also revealed that a final decision on Devon Conway’s participation in the last T20I is pending.
In a post-match interview, Pakistan’s skipper Shaheen Afridi acknowledged Rizwan’s commendable start but expressed disappointment at missing opportunities in the middle overs. Despite feeling that 170 was a defendable total, Shaheen highlighted the team’s missed chances in the fourth T20I against the Kiwis.