|Finished.176 & 134/9 - 426
After a topsy-turvy T20 series, more eyes than one would have predicted are on the Test series between Pakistan and Zimbabwe. On paper, Pakistan should win without a doubt, but Zimbabwe look stronger than they have in almost two decades - and they already beat Pakistan once the last time the teams met in white. Zimbabwe are lacking some important players and have an inexperienced side, while Pakistan also have a bevy of untrained hands mixed in with hardened professionals. Things could get very interesting in Harare, so without further ado, let’s take a look at the two sides.
Full squad for Test series vs Pakistan
Sean Williams (c), Regis Chakabva (wk), Tendai Chisoro, Tanaka Chivanga, Luke Jongwe, Roy Kaia, Kevin Kasuza, Wellington Masakadza, Prince Masvaure, Tarisai Musakanda, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Milton Shumba, Brendan Taylor (wk), Donald Tiripano.
Zimbabwe predicted XI for 1st Test vs Pakistan
Sean Williams (c), Regis Chakabva (wk), Tanaka Chivanga, Luke Jongwe, Kevin Kasuza, Prince Masvaure, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Milton Shumba, Brendan Taylor.
Zimbabwe team preview and form
Sean Williams will be in charge of the Chevrons, and with a win against Afghanistan earlier this year fresh on their minds, the team will trust the veteran’s leadership.
With no Sikandar Raza, Wesley Madhevere, or Craig Ervine, Zimbabwe’s batting will rely heavily on players with little or no experience.
The absence of Raza also means that the hosts will be without any genuine all-rounders, which will see them making the compromise between relying on a part-timer, overworking 4 bowlers, or picking 5 bowlers outright.
Blessing Muzarabani, Victor Nyauchi, and Luke Jongwe will be the most important parts of the Zimbabwe bowling attack.
It’s been a decade since Zimbabwe won a Test series, so history is not on their side.
Zimbabwe key players for 1st Test vs Pakistan
Prince Masvaure: It will be a pity if Masvaure doesn’t get into the playing XI, because we think he will do well.
Sean Williams: The captain needs to pull off the kind of performance we saw versus Afghanistan in the first Test.
Victor Nyauchi: Nyauchi was one of the heroes of that victory against Afghanistan, and he’ll now have to step up against their neighbours.
Luke Jongwe: This promising youngster has shown that he can be extraordinary at times.
Full squad for Test series vs Zimbabwe
Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imran Butt, Mohammad Nawaz, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dhani, Tabish Khan, Zahid Mahmood.
Pakistan predicted XI for 1st Test vs Zimbabwe
Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Imran Butt, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Tabish Khan, Zahid Mahmood.
Pakistan team preview and form
With his successes piling up, Babar Azam will remain the captain for the Men in Green.
In-form Mohammad Rizwan will be the danger man alongside the aforementioned Babar and recent returnee to the Test side, Fawad Alam.
Pakistan will no doubt pick some untested or barely checked newbies in order to gauge their talents. I personally hope Tabish Khan, 36, gets the chance to represent his nation before his career ends.
Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Faheem Ashraf will constitute Pakistan’s bowling firepower
After an average run of form, the Men in Green must have had their confidence restored following their whitewash against the Proteas.
Pakistan key players for 1st Test vs Zimbabwe
Babar Azam: Inarguably one of the top two batsmen in the world right now, Azam will look to lift up his Test stats during this series.
Mohammad Rizwan: The keeper-batter’s current form is a thing of envy for any cricketer.
Mohammad Nawaz: As a left-arm spinner. Nawaz will have to make the best of the pitch in Harare.
Shaheen Shah Afridi: If Afridi can bring in some more control to his bowling, he can easily become one of the best bowlers in the world.
Zimbabwe vs Pakistan head to headThere’s little surprise that Pakistan have a massive advantage in Test stats against Zimbabwe with 10 wins to 3 and 4 draws. The latter won their only series in the matchup back in the 1998/99 season. However, they did surprise the visitors with a win to tie up the series when Pakistan came to Zimbabwe 7 years ago, which was also the last series between the two sides.
Zimbabwe vs Pakistan 1st Test pitch report and weather conditions
Harare Sports Club, as it has been seen during the T20 series, has a pitch that supports bowlers a lot more than batsmen. It will take time for batsmen to get used to the slow nature of it as well as the movement it offers, and runs will not be easy to get. As the days go by, spinners will most likely get even more turn, so teams winning the toss should bat first and look to get 350+.
While the first two and last day will be good for cricket, the third will be intermittently if not constantly interrupted by thunderstorms - the remnants of which could also trouble the proceedings into the morning of the fourth day. Other than that, the temperature, humidity, and wind speeds will all be great for cricket.
Can the hosts create yet another shock result and give their guests a run for their money? Or will the visitors recover from their embarrassment and not give any quarter to any home-side aspirations? Find out if our Zimbabwe versus Pakistan 1st Test predictions come true starting Thursday!
|ZIM Top Batsman:
|PAK Top Batsman:
|ZIM Top Bowler (Wickets):
|PAK Top Bowler (Wickets):
|Players to score a fifty:
|S Williams/P Masvaure/B Taylor (ZIM), M Rizwan/B Azam/F Alam (PAK)
|Players to score a century:
|S Williams/P Masvaure (ZIM), M Rizwan/B Azam (PAK)