Pakistan tour to Zimbabwe 2018 [Preview]
Pakistan is scheduled to play five-match one-day series against Zimbabwe after the conclusion of T20 Tri-series. Sarfaraz Ahmed and co. will be keen to continue their good form in limited-overs cricket. The green shirts might give more opportunities to fringe players to make their mark in the one-day series against Zimbabwe.
Fakhar Zaman has been a consistent performer for Pakistan at the top of the innings. He has been Pakistan’s leading run-scorer in the format. He has scored 550 runs in 13 innings at an average of 45.83 with one century to his name.
Imam-ul-Haq might be given the opportunity to open the innings alongside Fakhar Zaman. He has done well for Pakistan and averages over 40 in the games played so far. He scored his maiden ton against Sri Lanka in a bilateral one-day series played in UAE.
Babar Azam is the premier batsman for Pakistan in the format. It is believed that he will recover in time to be declared for this five-match series. Azam has been a bankable player for Pakistan at no.3 in the batting order.
Azhar Ali might get to play a few games against Zimbabwe. The experienced batsman will need to improve his form in order to retain his place in the side for the coming big series against Australia and New Zealand in UAE.
Asif Ali has been included in the one-day squad due to his power-hitting abilities at the end of the innings. He will be keen to showcase his talent in this series for Pakistan.
Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik are experienced players that will need to produce more runs with the bat. The duo did not do much with the bat in the previous one-day series against New Zealand.
Malik averages just 29.33 in the last 14 matches for Pakistan while Hafeez has done slightly done with 34.45 in 15 matches.
Pakistan Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed will be hoping that can do well in this series against Zimbabwe. The skipper’s own form is a cause of concern as he averages just 23 in last 15 games played for Pakistan. At the moment, there seems to be over-reliance on Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman to do the bulk of the scoring.
Hasan Ali has been a premier bowler for Pakistan in the format and has picked up 33 wickets in 14 games at an average of 17.15. Leg-spinner Shadab Khan has produced impressive numbers for Pakistan and taken 19 wickets in 14 games at an average of 28.47. Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, and Rumman Raees will be other preferred bowling options for Pakistan in this upcoming series against Zimbabwe.
On another hand, Zimbabwe Cricket Board will be hoping to end their dispute with players such as Graeme Cremer, Brendan Taylor, and Sean Williams.
Hamilton Masakadza might lead the side if in case Zimbabwe board fails to resolve the dispute with above-mentioned players.
There will be over-reliance on Hamilton Masakadza and Solomon Mire to do the bulk of the scoring. Masakadza has scored over 600 runs in 22 innings at an average of 29.09 with one century to his name.
Solomon Mire, Craig Ervine, and Sean Williams are good players that make up the middle-order for Zimbabwe. TL Chatara and BL Muzarabani have been decent for Zimbabwe in the bowling department. Kyle Jarvis has returned to Zimbabwe squad and will be keen to do well against Pakistan.
The first game of the five-match one-day series will be played at Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo on 13th July. The other four games will also be played at the same venue.