The New Zealand cricket coach Mike Hesson says top-order runs will be the key to success in the limited overs' series against Pakistan which starts with a T20 match in Dubai Friday morning.
He says if the openers can score freely and quickly it will allow the Black Caps bigger hitters to apply some power later in the innings.
Hesson says Pakistan is a side that keeps attacking right throughout an innings, so it's crucial the Black Caps get off to a good start.
He says if you are able to set the game up with top order runs, then you can add the cream lower down the order.
With the World Cup just 2 months away, Hesson says they'll again be looking for players to step up and confirm that they belong in the side.
The top order selection will be interesting with a number of players, including Anton Devcich, James Neesham, Tom Latham, Dean Brownlie and Martin Guptill all in contention.
New Zealand and Pakistan play two T20 matches followed by 5 one-dayers.