Zimbabwe will go up against Australia in the fourth match of the tri-series in Harare on Sunday.
When the two sides met each other in the tri-series opener, Australia meted out a sound thrashing to the Zimbabweans. It was clearly a battle between the big boys and the minnows. As expected, Australia dominated as they racked up 350 and then bundled out the Zimbabweans for 152. In the process they registered a humongous 198-run victory.
In this match yet again without a shadow of doubt the boys from Down Under go in as favourites. To add to this regular skipper Michael Clarke makes a comeback into the side. A hamstring injury had kept him out of the earlier games against Zimbabwe and South Africa. The Aussies, who lost to South Africa despite defending 327, would welcome the presence of their regular skipper.
Apart from Clarke's return, a few more changes are expected in this game. Medium pacer Kane Richardson is expected to make way for another member of the tribe, namely Ben Cutting. Mitchell Johnson will, probably, be rested for the game as the Aussies may choose to go with spinning option Nathan Lyon. Steve Smith, the middle-order batsman, will not play any part in this game.
"He hasn't had much of an opportunity in this series batting at six and seven, but he was picked in the first squad as well so he'll obviously be very disappointed," ESPNCricinfo quoted skipper Michael Clarke as saying.
For Zimbabwe they have to pull a rabbit out of the hat to win this one. Their fans, however, would take heart from their bowling performance against South Africa. They bowled the Proteas out for 231. Prosper Utseya was the star as he became only the second Zimbabwean to take a hat trick in one-day cricket. He went to take a fiver in the match. Zimbabwe, however, collapsed to 170 all out in reply. If Zimbabwe have to pull off a surprise win they need consistency in all departments of the game.
The batting especially has to stand up and show they can put up a fight. In their previous five limited-over internationals, Zimbabwe have got to 200 once only. If the side has to make an impression against Australia the batting has to come good otherwise there lies a one-sided match in prospect.
Australia will be looking to dominate again, a surprise is what Zimbabwe will hope to spring —and can they... is the million-dollar question.
Expected lineups: Australia: Aaron Finch, Phil Hughes , Michael Clarke, Mitchell Marsh, George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Brad Haddin, James Faulkner, Ben Cutting, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon
Zimbabwe: Tino Mawoyo, Sikandar Raza, Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor, Sean Williams, Malcolm Waller, Elton Chigumbura, Prosper Utseya, John Nyumbu,Tendai Chatara, Brian Vitori
Where to Watch Live:
The game will start at at 9:30 am local time (1 pm IST) with live coverage in India on Ten Cricket. The match can also be watched via live streaming online in India HERE. In South Africa it will be shown on Supersport 2, the live streaming option is HERE. In Australia Fox Sports 2 will broadcast the match while viewers can also watch it live online HERE. Willow TV will air the game in the United States, with the option to live stream available HERE.