- "We know they're a quality side but we're up for a challenge and I think we're ready," he said.
AUCKLAND: Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat in the first Twenty20 against New Zealand on Friday at Eden Park in Auckland.
Pakistan had a rocky preparation for the match when 10 of their touring party tested positive to Covid-19 during quarantine after arriving in New Zealand.
Players also received a rebuke from local health authorities for flouting social distancing rules, and were unable to train until they were allowed out of their hotel on December 8.
Stand-in captain Shadab Khan said it was a relief to finally be playing.
"It looks a very good pitch, we want to put a score on," he said, eyeing Eden Park's short boundaries.
Pakistan are missing regular captain Babar Azam, who fractured a thumb in training last week.
The Black Caps are also without regular captain Kane Williamson, absent after the birth of his first child.
Replacement Mitchell Santner said his side wanted to build on the recent 2-0 T20 series win over the West Indies against a talented Pakistan team.
"We know they're a quality side but we're up for a challenge and I think we're ready," he said.
The Black Caps are also without injured fast bowler Lockie Ferguson, man of the series against the West Indies, and veteran batsman Ross Taylor, who was dropped after struggling for form in T20s.
Paceman Jacob Duffy makes his debut.
Pakistan are fourth in the world T20 rankings and New Zealand are sixth.
Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert, Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner (capt), Mark Chapman, Scott Kuggeleijn, Ish Sodhi, Jacob Duffy, Blair Tickner.
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan (capt), Khushdil Shah, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf.
Umpires: Shaun Haig (NZL), Wayne Knights (NZL)
TV umpire: Chris Brown (NZL) Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)