After a rather subdued T20 series, Pakistan and Zimbabwe begin the three match ODI series at Harare Sports club today. The Zimbabwe team would look avenge their series loss against the visitors when they toured Pakistan recently.
Pakistan will start the series as clear favorites lead by their young captain Azhar Ali who would be rearing to go after a series win in Sri Lanka and confirming their champions trophy spot. Considering the batting performances of Pakistan during the T20 series, it will be interesting to see how they tackle the Zimbabwe bowlers and the slow pitches and conditions.
The bowling department is relatively stable and as always will be strong point during the series. They were impressive during the T20 series and the recently concluded tour in Sri Lanka and so a lot will depend on them if the batting department is not up to the mark. New entries into the ODI squad i.e. Bilal Asif and Amir Yamin will be the talking point if and when they get a chance during the three match series. Azhar Ali was not a part of the T20 squad will look to utilize his good run of form and lead Pakistan from the front with the bat in hand.
Meanwhile the Zimbabwe team will showcase some new talent during the series such as the likes of Brain chari, Tino Mutumbodzi and Tawanda Mupariwa. They have a few other players in their ranks such as Sean Williams and Hamilton Masakadza who will have to carry the load of the Zimbabwe team as they are skilled enough and have performed consistently. Their hard hitting batsman and captain Elton Chigumbura has been providing the all important impetus at the back end of the innings but has failed to take them over the line so he has to step it up a bit.
Fact and figures
Pakistan have never lost an ODI series versus Zimbabwe having won 10 and drawn 1
Last time Pakistan toured Zimbabwe professor Hafeez was the highest run scorer as he amassed 232 runs at a strike rate of almost 99
Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura needs three more wickets to reach the 100 wickets mark in ODIs.