Zimbabwe might not be one of0 the exotic locales that you want to visit as a cricketer, but in the current turmoil that it finds itself in, Australia wouldn’t mind a stopover. Having successfully tested the format of tri-series in this shortest format, Australia will be engaged in a T20I Tri-Series with Pakistan and Zimbabwe over two round-robin legs.
Having lost face and the series in England, Australia will be desperate to earn some victories before they start losing relevance. This makes the series a very important one for the Kangaroos. The tournament starts on July 1st, with the final slated for July 8th and all the matches are scheduled at the Harare Sports Club in Harare.
Not often we say this, but Australia continue to be burdened by recent defeats – even if it is in the ODI format. A 6-0 thrashing at the hands of England across the two white-ball formats hasn’t helped their spiralling confidence and the side looks very fragile at the moment.
Thankfully for Australia, the pitches will be more kind than the ones they encountered in England. The Kangaroos, under Aaron Finch, will have time to adjust, regroup, and get back to winning ways. However, defeating the top-ranked Pakistan side could be one step too many!
TIP: Australia to reach the final
The ‘Men in Green’ are the form team in this series and have named a full-strength squad. They have been on a roll this year in T20Is – having lost only one of their eight games in 2018. Pakistan have every reason to believe they are favourites for the title here.
The return of Mohammad Hafeez and his availability to bowl will add to their strengths, especially on pitches that suit his style. The experience of Shoaib Malik, the exuberance of Fakhar Zaman, and the belligerence of Sarfraz Ahmed gives them the edge. With the ball, they have some of the best names in the T20 business like Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, and Hasan Ali.
TIP: Pakistan to win the series
The hosts are mired in troubles as the players and the board continue to waggle over non-payment issues. That meant senior players like Brendan Taylor, Graeme Cremer, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams, and Craig Ervine are all missing from action.
Even after the surprise recall from the wilderness for Elton Chigumbura and the presence of Hamilton Masakadza, this Zimbabwean side is down on many counts and it will take a miracle for them to even spring a surprise.
TIP: Zimbabwe to lose all matches
- Australia have won 5 of their last 6 T20Is.
- Australia have won 3 of their last 4 completed T20Is away from home.
- Australia have won 3 of their last 5 T20Is against Pakistan.
- Pakistan have won their last 7 T20Is.
- Pakistan have won 13 of their last 15 T20Is away from home.
- Zimbabwe have lost 14 of the 16 T20Is played at this venue.
- Zimbabwe have lost all 9 T20Is played against Pakistan, which include 6 at this venue.
- Zimbabwe have won only 1 of their last 8 T20Is at home.
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