New Zealand v Pakista, 4th ODI, Napier
Blackcaps Elect to Bat Against Pakistan01-Feb-2011 02:38:00 GMT
Napier: New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori won the toss and decided to bat first in the fourth one-day international against Pakistan in Napier on Tuesday.
Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi described conditions at McLean Park as "heaven for a batsman" and did not believe his side would suffer by batting second.
The match, on a pitch which regularly provides scores in excess of 300, is crucial to give one side a psychological advantage in the six-match series which is currently locked at 1-1 with one game abandoned.
"It's obviously a beautiful wicket and has lots of runs," Vettori said as New Zealand hastily revised their lineup following the late withdrawal of opener Jesse Ryder with an injured finger.
He has been replaced by all-rounder James Franklin, who will boost the home side's fast bowling stocks to three after they originally intended to play just Tim Southee and Hamish Bennett -- along with spinners Daniel Vettori and Nathan McCullum and medium pacer Scott Styris.
The pressure is on New Zealand to improve their bowling following the 43-run loss in the third match, where the telling difference was Pakistan's ability to reap 125 runs off the final 10 overs.
Afridi, with 65 off 25 balls, has again been earmarked as the dangerman by Vettori, who said the New Zealand bowlers needed better discipline.
We gave him a number of opportunities to clear the ropes and we missed a chance catch him, and you just can't afford to do that.
The onus goes on the bowlers to hit their lines and lengths and if you do that you've got a better chance.