Zimbabwe are set to host Pakistan in a series featuring two T20 international matches and three ODIs. The first T20 match of the series will be played at Harare Sports Club on Sunday.
Pakistan were impressive at home when the two teams met in May, as the men in green defeated the African nation in both the ODI and T20 series. However, Zimbabwe can draw inspiration from their performance then, where it was not a cakewalk for Pakistan. Zimbabwe showed a lot of character, though they failed to win a single game during the series.
Pakistan have sent a strong squad for the T20 series with Shahid Afridi as the captain. They have a right mix of the youth and the experienced players in the team.
With players such as Afridi, Mohammed Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Irfan, Pakistan resemble a strong unit and it will be a tough task for the home team, who are going to be well supported.
The Zimbabwe team need to make full use of the home conditions. Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura believes that his boys are in a great spirit and are looking forward to the challenge.
"We are looking to make full use of the advantage of playing at home. The last time we played them we lost under their own conditions and now we are the home team. The spirit among the boys is very encouraging. We had a team bonding exercise last week and I think it worked well. Everyone is looking forward to the challenge," herald.co.zw quoted Chigumbura as saying.
Apart from Chigumbura, other key players, such as Sean Williams, Hamilton Masakadza and Craig Ervine also need to shine and make their presence felt if they are looking for a victory in the first T20.
Despite possessing some good players and playing under home conditions, Zimbabwe are an underdog in the series. Pakistan, if they play to their potential, should win the match and the series easily.
Pakistan could use this series as perfect preparation for the upcoming mega series against England starting next month. A great series against Zimbabwe could help them gain confidence against England, who are one of the strongest sides in world cricket.
Where to watch live
Zimbabwe vs Pakistan 1st T20 match is scheduled for 1pm local time (4:30pm IST, 4pm PKT, 7am ET) start. Viewers in India can watch the Zimbabwe vs Pakistan 1st T20 live on Ten Cricket with live streaming on tensports.com.
Pakistan viewers can watch the Zimbabwe vs Pakistan 1st T20 live on Geo Super Tv.
Viewers in the US can watch the game live on Willow TV with live streaming here.