WELLINGTON - Pakistan will be looking to avenge a 5-0 ODI whitewash as they take on New Zealand on Monday in the first of the three-match T20I series at Wellington.

Also, Pakistan are on a three-match losing streak against the Kiwis in the shortest format and will be looking to avoid the same fate which they witnessed in the ODIs, which head coach Mickey Arthur believes was because of the top-order batting failure.

“They’ve got the ability and without wanting to look for excuses, they need to get better in these conditions,” Arthur said, as quoted by ESPNcricinfo. “Our guys need to step up, that’s the bottom line. Our top-order hasn’t done a job for us in the series and that’s a pity. Haris Sohail coming in gave us some stability, and he showed us how to apply ones self in these conditions.”

Pakistan were seen playing catch-up in the ODI series after not being able to get prolific or even decent starts due to losing early wickets and Arthur believes team needs to put their games faces on since the World Cup is just 18 months away.

“With the World Cup coming up in a year’s time, it’s important now that the next one-day team we play is a team that we really believe can shake the World Cup up,” he said. “It’s not discrediting to the players in the dressing room because they have tried exceptionally hard, but we do need to reassess where we go to make sure we get it right next time when we come out, particularly in foreign conditions.”

Pakistan’s young talent, which led them to the Champions Trophy triumph, were able to produce not match-winning but considerable performances against New Zealand in the lost cause, and Arthur believes writing them off just yet would be wrong.

“Every time we bring young boys in, they stand up,” he said. “They have done it, they have done it under pressure. They did it at the Champions Trophy for us. When Fakhar Zaman walked in, he changed the tempo in the Champions Trophy, playing fearless cricket. Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, these are the guys who’d do anything for you. When we play in our own conditions, we dominate because our guys are comfortable and they play very well there. This is like playing on the North Pole for them. It’s so different but we got to be better at that.”

Pakistan’s approach changed from defensive to offensive in the past year which led them to victories and silverware and the South African insists, even after failing against New Zealand, the blue print of their plan won’t change.

 “Our blue print that we had was good enough to win us the Champions Trophy, it was good enough to win nine ODIs in a row, but we haven’t played well enough here, and that’s a fact,” he explained. “Our guys have come out of playing a lot of T20 leagues. I am not making excuses; that’s just the way it is. We haven’t adapted well and haven’t played well enough. But the blue print for us still remains the same, but obviously personnel changes could happen.” Ben Wheeler may have only played four T20Is, but he has done no harm to his reputation in that short period. He was splendid in a three-match series against Bangladesh, taking four wickets while going at less than seven an over. He is also viewed as a power-hitter lower down the order; in just his third ODI, he smashed an unbeaten 39 off 28 balls against England in 2015. The left-armer's ability to swing the ball will be highly coveted, particularly against a Pakistan side that has struggled against the new ball, particularly in the hands of Trent Boult. With New Zealand's confidence sky high, this is as good a time as there will be for a young New Zealand quick to come into the side, and Wheeler will be well aware of that.

Babar Azam had a torrid ODI series, scoring just 31 runs at 6.20, and looking a shadow of the batsman who has won rave reviews and flattering - if premature - comparisons with Virat Kohli over the last 18 months. The T20 series gives him another chance to justify that praise. It is a good format switch for the 23-year old; he averages 46.80 in T20Is, having been dismissed only twice before reaching double figures in 14 innings. He was Pakistan's highest scorer during the World XI tour of Lahore. However, he has never played a T20I in conditions and circumstances such as these, and will be eager to show he can lead Pakistan's batting in the years to come, in all conditions.

New Zealand have left out Boult and Ferguson from the first ODI, and brought in a whole host of new faces. They will want to give plenty of them a run out during this series without losing any of their ruthlessness; they have, after all, yet to be beaten in this home season.

With Shoaib Malik out, Haris Sohail becomes even more important to Pakistan as an all-round option. Hasan Ali should recover from the groin strain that kept him out of the fifth ODI, while Mohammad Amir is also expected to return.