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White Ferns skipper wary of Pakistan

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 7/11/2016

Pakistan have been steamrolled by Suzie Bates and her White Ferns in their rare clashes but the captain reckons they'll be challenged in the looming one-day international series.

Third-ranked New Zealand are favoured to win the five-match series starting in Christchurch on Wednesday.

There are three games at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, followed by two at Nelson's Saxton Oval, which also hosts a Twenty20 international.

It is the first time seventh-ranked Pakistan have played New Zealand in a bilateral series.

Their two most recent meetings have been at tournaments and hard-hitting opener Bates has thrived, scoring centuries on both occasions.

However, she senses the visitors have improved, pointing to a six-wicket win over Canterbury in a warm-up game on Sunday.

"They won easily and they'd only just arrived so that's a good start for them and I'm sure they'll take a lot of confidence," she said.

"They're going to be a tough side to beat, like any international side is these days.

"The teams who haven't toured much in the past are now doing that more and learning about how to handle it."

New Zealand have made three changes from the squad who won the series in South Africa 5-2 last month.

Included is uncapped 16-year-old Wellington legspinner Amelia Kerr, who Bates says will get plenty of opportunities in the absence of spinners Leigh Kasperek and Erin Bermingham.

"I think she's pretty excited just to be here. Everyone's talked about her for a couple of years now, just what a talent she is," Bates said.

"She's going to be a star for a future so it's good to get her in the group and finding out what it's all about."

The last three games of the Pakistan series count towards qualifying for next year's World Cup in England.

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