The second ODI will be played at the same venue Bulawayo.
If the first ODI was any indication it is largely going to be a one-sided series where Pakistan will find and fine-tune their best-suited line-up to field on a flat wicket. All Zimbabwe should look to take back from these games is the experience of understanding the situation like the opposition does pick the bright spots and move on.
It was a wonderful last game for the Men in Green. They put up an absolutely clinical performance in all the departments of the game. The batsmen put up more than required runs on the board, the bowlers didn’t let the Zimbabweans off the hook and eventually won the match by 201 runs.
It is a flat wicket that should help the batsmen throughout. There is nothing much in it for the bowlers however, the teams will still want to win the toss and bowl first as there is some early moisture courtesy the cool Zimbabwe morning that they’d want to make use of.
Adding more damage to their already depleted team Malcolm Waller pulled out of the ODI series and the Zimbabwe lost another player to the ongoing financial issue. Among the youngsters in the team, Ryan Murray who made his ODI debut in the last game should further aim to improve their performance along with Tarisai Musakanda.
Their bowling department will look up to 21-year-old Blessing Muzarabani, though he has just played 15 ODIs is the only bowler who looks threatening enough to pick wickets. Skipper Masakadza should try and inspire the youngsters to make something happen.
Predicted XI: Brian Chari, Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza (C), Tarisai Musakanda, Peter Moor, Ryan Murray (wk), Donald Tiripano, Liam Rochem, Wellington Masakadza, Tendai Chatara, Blessing Muzarabani
Sarfraz Ahmed’s team ticked all boxes. Their openers gave the team a brilliant start, Imam-ul-Haq coming into the team looked stable, he knew what he was doing, didn’t take the unnecessary pressure and played his natural game. That hundred would’ve given him a world of confidence. Fakhar Zaman during his half century was calculative and certainly carried the momentum from the T20I tri-series.
Bowling wise Shadab Khan was their main weapon, the leg-spinner picked 4 wickets and all the other bowlers Sarfraz deployed got at least one wicket apart from Shoaib Malik. They will certainly go in with the same XI and use this as an opportunity give the players who are taking time to get going a longer rope.
Predicted XI: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed (C & wk), Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Usman Khan
Head to head
Played – 55 | Pakistan – 48, Zimbabwe – 4, Tied – 1 N/R – 2
The prediction is for Pakistan to win the match quite smoothly and take a 2-0 lead in the series.