The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced the squads for the upcoming series against New Zealand. Although it is a home series but would be played away from home due to the security concerns in Pakistan. The one day internationals and the Twenty20s will be played in Dubai and Abu Dhabi while the three Tests will be played in New Zealand. This series will be an important one for Pakistan keeping in view that almost straight after this series the greenshirts have to tour Australia which will be their toughest assignment for quite sometime now. And this series especially the Tests against New Zealand in New Zealand will enable the side to acclimatise themselves with the southern hemisphere weather plus the seaming conditions and pitches with more bounce will allow the players to get themselves into a groove before they come up against the testing conditions in Australia. New Zealand recently defeated Pakistan in the semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy but when the series starts Pakistan will begin as favourites especially in limited overs cricket given the more balance that they have in their squad. Pakistan team has done well in the shorter format of the game in the last year or so. And the conditions in the UAE will definitely suit Pakistan more. Earlier in the year in UAE Pakistan gave World Champions Australia a run for their money before loosing out a close ODI series which could have gone either way. Its good to see Younis Khan being announced the captain of the Pakistan side till the 2011 World Cup as he is the right man for the job at present moment. Now its down to Younis to put in the effort and lead from the front as Pakistan need a stabilising factor like him to guide them through. The only big name to miss out is Misbah-u-Haq who hasnt been picked for any of the three squads. To be honest Misbah has been off colour for quite some time now and should take this break positively and recharge himself with this break and play domestic cricket to fight his way back. He still has quite a bit of cricket left in him. Misbahs non inclusion will provide others to establish themselves in the middle order where there is a certain lack of depth apart from Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan. Umar Akmal has started off well in international cricket and will have to prove himself now in this tough series. Imran Farhat is one player who has been selected for all the three formats. Its the first time Farhat has been included in the side after cutting ties with the Indian Cricket League. He has previous experience of playing in New Zealand having toured there twice so he should aim to make good use of his experience. All rounder Yasir Arafat has also been selected Tests. While he can be a reasonable player in limited overs cricket his inclusion in the Test squad is somewhat debatable as its a format where only the specialists are required and his game can be found wanting in Test cricket. Abdul Razzaq and Sohail Tanvir have staged comebacks in the shorter format and their inclusion will definitely strengthen the team. Fawad Alam has missed out selection in the ODI squad which is somewhat a surprise as he could have done a decent job in UAE in limited overs cricket. Mohammad Asif hasnt been selected for the limited overs leg due to his prohibition to travel to UAE however his inclusion in the Test squad in New Zealand will definitely add more vivacity to Pakistan side given his ability to excel in seaming conditions and he can be a force to reckon with over there. The Test squad is almost an automatic pick and Salman Butt has been recalled to the Test squad and ODI squad while opener Khurram Manzoor after giving some solid performances in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. With three specialist openers in the side it would be interesting to see which two selectors go for. Umar Gul will be leading the bowling attack once again but one feels that he needs to develop and take his game to another level in Test and ODI cricket. Gul certainly has the ability to become a world class bowler but somehow or the other he hasnt been able to graduate to the next league which is disappointing bearing in mind the talent that he has. The conditions in New Zealand will be favourable for him and its high time he delivers big in Test cricket as his solid performance will add another dimension to the Pakistan teams performance as a whole. Overall the team selected looks to be a balanced one and people will always debate on one or two selections. Pakistan team should aim and go all out in this series as they certainly have the ability to make it big and its just that they have to plan well and then execute those plans to the fullest with application, determination and hard work. New Zealand is a capable team which can cause problems for anyone on their day. Pakistan team will have to take them seriously and avoid complacency at all times. Even the Tests in New Zealand shouldnt be a big problem as its just a mental block which Pakistan needs to overcome in terms of seaming conditions. Its an ideal opportunity for Younis and his men to prepare themselves for their next tough assignment which is the tour of Australia. Pakistan definitely have got the right resources at their disposal lets see if they are able to make full use of these resources and do a the job required of them.