"How Finn Allen starts at the top is going to be critical"- Sanjay Bangar on New Zealand's weakness ahead of T20 World Cup semifinal against Pakistan

England v New Zealand - ICC Men
Finn Allen will be keen to get the Kiwis off to a flier. (P.C.:Getty)

Former Indian all-rounder Sanjay Bangar believes New Zealand are highly reliant on explosive opener Finn Allen to get them off to a flying start. The youngster's 18-ball fifty against Australia played a crucial role in the Kiwis starting their T20 World Cup campaign on a winning note.

Bangar feels Allen's explosive batting will give his opening partner Devon Conway much-needed time to settle down and bat deep. However, if Allen fails, it puts a lot of pressure on Conway as skipper Kane Williamson at No.3 is also someone who likes to take his time and has been inconsistent of late.

Speaking on Star Sports, here's what Sanjay Bangar had to say ahead of New Zealand's semifinal against Pakistan at the SCG on Wednesday:

"We have seen the way Kane Williamson started this tournament. His strike rate was not up to the mark, but he eventually played an innings of 61, although it was against a lesser-known team, but it was a must-win game for them. For me, how Finn Allen starts at the top is going to be critical because Conway can bat in a particular fashion.”
Openers, spinners & everything required to conquer Semi-Final 1!Get your strategy update ahead of #NZvPAK with #SanjayBangar & @SurenSundaram!#GamePlan: Today, 9:30 AM on the Star Sports Network

New Zealand have better spinners than Pakistan: Sanjay Bangar

The semifinal at Sydney will be on a used pitch and naturally, spinners from both New Zealand and Pakistan will come into play. However, Sanjay Bangar feels the Kiwi spin duo of Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi have more chances of succeeding because they have been highly effective this T20 World Cup.

Pakistan has Shadab for middle-overs whereas NZ has Santner & Sodhi on this spin-helping wicket.NZ last year took 135 runs game to the 19th over & Pak needed Asif Ali's sixes to finish things.52/48 NZ, but the batting first team will have an advantage.

On this, Bangar stated:

β€œNew Zealand are the better spinners because they have Santner and Ish Sodi, who have actually adapted to the dimensions really well. They've been bowling to those wider lines which has made them very effective on these kind of surfaces and dimensions. So, I would say it's an advantage for New Zealand spinners at the moment because apart from Shadab, the other spinner Nawaz or Ifthikhar, they haven't made inroads for Pakistan.”

Can New Zealand beat Pakistan and make it to their second successive final in T20 World Cups? Let us know in the comments.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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