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Tri-series Preview: Pakistan battle for consistency, Zimbabwe for survival

Pakistan's Sarfraz Ahmed in action
©REUTERS/Russell Cheyne
 

Pakistan will lock horns with Zimbabwe in the 7-match tri-series between Australia, Pakistan and Zimbabwe to be played at the Harare sports club.

Pakistan

Coming fresh off a 2-0 victory over Scotland, Pakistan will look to continue their dominance in the shortest format of the game.

All-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, who had been ruled out from competitive cricket due to a dubious bowling action has made a comeback to the squad and would be available for selection.


Pacer Mohammad Amir would be another centre of attraction as he had earlier requested for rest from the tri-series but was denied by the Pakistan Cricket Board. Amir has had issues with his knee and his work load needs to be managed ahead of the South Africa series and the upcoming World Cup.On the slow wickets of Zimbabwe, Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed has already expressed his desire to continue batting at number 4 for the team.

Pakistan squad

Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Sarfraz Ahmed(c), Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Usman Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Sahibzada Farhan

Zimbabwe


Zimbabwe, on the other hand, are going through tumultuous times. The 12th ranked T20I side would take the field without five of its best players - Brendan Taylor, Sikandar Raza, Graeme Cremer, Sean Williams and Craig Ervine. Due to a rift between the players and the board, these five cricketers will be unavailable for selection.


In their absence, Hamilton Masakadza will take the reins of the side in his hands. Zimbabwe are not scheduled to play any international cricket in the coming 13 months after which they are set to host Afghanistan.

The battle for Zimbabwe would be of survival more than anything else. However, given the shortest format of the game, the team will certainly have chances to prove their mettle. Even if a couple of players can come up with something extraordinary, you never know what can transpire.

Zimbabwe squad

Cephas Zhuwao, Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza(c), Solomon Mire, Tarisai Musakanda, Elton Chigumbura, Malcolm Waller, Brian Chari, Peter Moor, Wellington Masakadza, Tendai Chisoro, Blessing Muzarabani, Ryan Murray, Kyle Jarvis, Chris Mpofu, Ryan Burl, Brandon Mavuta

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