Pakistan hockey team left for New Zealand and Australia on Monday for playing bilateral series in the two countries, reads a press release from Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF).

Matches in New Zealand will be held between March 17 and March 23, while the tour will start in Australia from March 28, added the statement.

Australia is currently ranked as the world's top hockey team as per International Hockey Federation (FIH) rankings while New Zealand is ranked 8th.

"The experience gained during these two series would help Pakistan prepare for the all important Hockey World League's semi finals to be held in London in June this year which doubles up as the 2018 World Cup qualifier," said the national hockey federation.

Abdul Haseem Khan will be the skipper for the team with Umar Bhutta as his vice-captain.