Zimbabwe Tour of Pakistan 2020 Preview

Zimbabwe will be touring Pakistan for a 3 match ODI series followed by 3 match T20 series starting from 30th October.

This article is a preview, thanks to @Aqeelviews (Twitter), as he shares his thoughts on how the pitches will be in store for us, players to watch out for and more in this interview.

Tell us about the pitch and conditions of Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium as both, the ODI as well as T20 series will be happening here.

Rawalpindi has been a very high scoring ground for the last one year. Boundaries are a little shorter which makes it more batting-friendly for batsmen. It’s highly likely that all games will be high scoring if Pakistan batted first.

The last ODI in Rawalpindi happened in 2006 between Pakistan and Zimbabwe (source – ESPN Cricinfo), how exciting is it for fans to finally have a game of 50 over cricket here?

I remember last time an ODI took place in Pakistan last year in 2019. And before that, an ODI game happened in Pakistan in 2015 which shows the importance of this ODI series. Fans have been deprived of ODI cricket and finally, the moment arrived where they will cherish these games.

How excited are you to see Babar Azam in his role as a captain in 50 over format?

Babar Azam was always going to be Captain one day. Good to see PCB appointing him at the right time when the next mega event is almost 3 years away. He will get enough time to build a side. The only concern will be about his batting which should never get affected by this Captaincy pressure.

Do you think we will see a change in his batting approach since he has become the captain now?

No, he always plays his natural game. We saw in Australia T20Is, he did what he is supposed to do. I am not looking for any extra careful approach from Babar. He is a free-flowing batsman.

Few words on Haider Ali – the under-19 star? Will he get a game?

Haider Ali and Babar Azam might be the two stars who will carry Pakistan into the 2023 Cricket World Cup. I rate Haider Ali so highly. I love his approach at this level. His confidence level is unmatched in this squad. He fears none. The bowlers will be mostly on the receiving end. But it will be interesting to see where they will adjust him in ODI XI because Imam and Fakhar are proven openers. Haider should be at 4 in ODIs. In T20Is his No.3 spot is confirmed in ENG.

Who are the bowlers, in your opinion, that can get the most out of this pitch and trouble the opposition?

Shadab Khan will be handy on this wicket along with Shaheen Afridi. Shaheen Afridi has been so consistent over the last year. Zimbabwe will have to bat so well to see him off.

Who are the youngsters, from this Pakistan team, you are looking forward to the most in this series?

I am looking towards Haider Ali only in this series because all others who are selected might be dropped after this tour and all rested players will be back. I always talk realistically about Cricket, that’s why I know only Haider Ali will be given chances due to his show in ENG.

Who are the key players for Zimbabwe?

Zimbabwe will be highly dependent on Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams, Brendon Taylor and Elton Chigumbura who have been their proven match-winners in the past. Hope to see a fight from the ZImbabwe side. One-sided games might not attract many fans towards the series.

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