Australia, Pakistan and Zimbabwe meet in a T20 tri-series starting in Harare on Sunday, with the world number one ranking on the line in the sport’s shortest format. Pakistan travel to Zimbabwe as the world’s top-rated team, but if the Australians are able to put their torrid tour of England behind them, they could claim that status for themselves.
Pakistan have named a strong squad for the tri-nation T20I series in Zimbabwe starting from Sunday, 1 July. They have more than just the series title to fight for: Australia, if they go undefeated in the series, could take their spot at the top of the rankings.
Pakistan’s strength is in their bowling attack, which will be led by their star paceman, Mohammad Amir, and leg-spinner Shadab Khan, the No.2 bowler in the format. But their batting is strong as well, with the likes of Fakhar Zaman and Hussain Tala at the top, and the experience of captain Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik in the middle.
Australia are confident in the format, but touring Zimbabwe after almost four years, they will have to regroup after a difficult tour of England. Since the ball-tampering incident in South Africa, Australia, under new coach Justin Langer, have not won a single match across formats. With Steve Smith and David Warner serving their 12-month bans, and mainstay fast-bowling trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins recovering from injuries, Australia were thrashed by England 5-0 in the one-day internationals and lost the one-off T20I as well.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe, the host country, have a mountain to climb. They are without some of their most experienced players, but coming in is Elton Chigumbura, their former captain, who last represented his country in 2016.
Zimbabwe: Hamilton Masakadza (c), Elton Chigumbura, Cephas Zhuwao, Chamu Chibhabha, Brian Chari, Tarisai Musakanda, Malcolm Waller, Peter Moor, Tendai Chisoro, Kyle Jarvis, Brandon Mavuta, Blessing Muzarabani, Chris Mpofu, Ryan Burl, Solomon Mire, Ryan Murray, Wellington Masakadza.
Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (c, wk), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Usman Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Sahibzada Farhan.
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (wk), Ashton Agar, Travis Head, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Jack Wildermuth.
T20I Tri-Series Schedule:
July 1, 2018: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan
July 2, 2018: Pakistan vs Australia
July 3, 2018: Australia vs Zimbabwe
July 4, 2018: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan
July 5, 2018: Pakistan vs Australia
July 6, 2018: Australia vs Zimbabwe
July 8, 2018: Final
If you have missed the cricket match live broad casting, here you can watch cricket highlights and enjoy the match.
Source: ICC Cricket