Shehzad in awe of New Zealand’s form

New Zealand

Pakistan batsman Ahmed Shehzad says he is in awe of New Zealand's form in the T20 format, and hopes Pakistan will be able to raise their standards to compete in the upcoming three-match series.

New Zealand are coming off a two-nil series win over Sri Lanka, where their batsmen found good form under the leadership of Kane Williamson, who has taken over for Brendon McCullum, who is on the brink of retirement.

Shehzad said ahead of the Eden Park opener: "New Zealand are playing wonderful cricket at the moment. We all know the style they're playing with is awesome to see. We have to match them. We have to compete.

"I think Brendon McCullum's done a good job. They're playing without any fear. There's no issues with their places. They're shuffling their players. Now they have a good bunch which is doing their job together.

"If any side is playing good cricket we have to appreciate that and try to match them. It raises your standards as well. We have to admit they are playing good cricket, but it's a T20 format.

"You have to execute your plans and flourish."

Shehzad added that the Pakistan batsmen would need to temper their inclinations to smash the ball on the smaller ground, and would need to keep playing good cricket shots and not get carried away by temptation.

He added: "Basically it's a rugby ground. It favours the batsmen. We're aware of that. We played quite a few matches here. We kind of know the trick here.

"Our management is very experienced – Waqar Younis, Mushtaq Ahmed, Grant Flower – the way they work with players, they pinpoint everything and tell us what to execute.

"We try our best to do that. Management are all cricketers and they know whether you're winning or lost, how to pick up the players.

"We have to pick and choose our balls. Sometimes you play some rash shots when looking at the stadium and all these things, and you lose your wickets.

"You can't be rash, or lose your wicket and let your team down. The boundaries at the side aren't very big either, but we have to play proper cricket."