Pakistan take on New Zealand in the first of the three match ODI series in Abu Dhabi today. New Zealand have a little bit of psychological advantage after having beaten Pakistan in the Champions Trophy semi-final last month. However the Black Caps have had quite a few problems since then. They will be without three important players: Jesse Ryder, Grant Elliot and Daryl Tuffey. While New Zealand are also without a coach as Andy Moles has resigned after falling out with the players. Skipper Daniel Vettori has to play a double role of a captain and a coach for the series. Brendon McCullum will like to rediscover his form and if he has his day it can be big trouble for Pakistan. The conditions will suit Pakistan. Shane Bond can pose the biggest threat to the Pakistanis with his extra pace. Pakistan might go in with two regular openers Salman Butt and Imran Farhat which can mean that young Umar Akmal will have to sit out. Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal can prove to be a handful for the New Zealanders who are traditionally vulnerable against quality spin. Pakistan should start as favourites. Players to watch Shahid Afridi will be a potential threat to New Zealand. Afridi has a good record in the UAE both with the bat and the ball and will definitely test the Kiwis with his quickish leg spinners. With his batting pyrotechnics on cards, he will be a star to watch. Shane Bond troubled Pakistan with his extra pace in the Champions Trophy semi-final and is once again expected to do the same today. Bond has truckloads of experience and if he has his day he can severely dent the Pakistani batting line. Head to head & Conditions Pakistan enjoys a superior ODI record against New Zealand. They have won 47 out of the 79 ODIs played between the two sides while New Zealand have won 30. Pakistan have won three out of their last five games while New Zealand have also won thrice in their last five games. Pitch in Abu Dhabi is expected to be batting friendly with batting first in the day night game being the way forward. Dew can trouble the side bowling second.