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Zimbabwe really [pushed Pakistan in the T20 series. It even managed to register its first-ever T20 win against Pakistan during that series and at one time a series win could not have been ruled out. Understandably, Pakistan has come in for a lot of criticism for its performance in that series and would be keen to establish its clear dominance in the Test Match arena.
The longest format of the game is the most challenging for any team but particularly for those that have limited resources to begin with. Every single flaw or weakness is exposed during five days of cricket.
Can Zimbabwe actually push Pakistan in this format and continue its comeback towards the top tier of cricket? Let’s find out.
Zimbabwe vs Pakistan 1st Test Match 2021 is going to be played at the Harare Sports Club, Harare starting on the 29th of April 2021.
Zimbabwe has named five uncapped players in its squad for this series and while we would love to think that is talent coming in from the domestic structure, it is due to a lack of performances from the players that were picked before them.
Zimbabwe does not get too much of cricket against top-flight opponents. In the last three years, Zimbabwe has only played Test Cricket against Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh and so this series against Pakistan is a big deal.
The previous series that Zimbabwe played was against Afghanistan in the UAE where it won a Test Match. That was a great result for Zimbabwe and it will be hoping for another such performance in this series.
A big loss for Zimbabwe is the absence of Sikandar Raza for this match. He has a bone marrow infection and is not going to be able to play. He was the second-highest scorer against Afghanistan and picked up some important wickets as well.
Brendan Taylor returns for this series, though, and his experience should be a big plus. Sean Williams and Brendan Taylor have to provide the bulk of the runs with Donald Tripano and Prince Masvaure important cogs as well.
Scoring runs against the Pakistani bowlers is not going to be easy. The real challenge for Zimbabwe comes in the bowling department. Its bowling attack is rarely able to pick up 20 wickets and just does not have the wicket-taking prowess needed.
Luke Jongwe, Blessing Muzarabani, and Richard Ngarava are not going to give Babar Azam and co. sleepless nights.
Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chisoro, Roy Kaia, Kevin Kasuza, Prince Masvaure, Tarisai Musakanda, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Milton Shumba, BRM Taylor, Donald Tiripano.
There is no reason why Pakistan should love this match and even be troubled by Zimbabwe, however, stranger things have happened in cricket. Pakistan has a full-strength squad for this series and some excellent options for all facets of the game.
It recently gave South Africa a 2-0 drubbing in Pakistan and comes into this series very confident.
There are a number of batsmen who scored heavily in that series. Fawad Alam and Mohammad Rizwan got a century while Faheem Ashraf continues to impress with his batting. He was the highest run-getter among all the batsmen in that series.
Babar Azam also got 77 and will be hungry to add a massive score to his name.
There are a number of options that Pakistan can try out in this series and we really hope to see some deserving youngsters tet a chance to showcase what they can do. Players like Saud Shakeel, Agha Aslam, Shahnawz Dhani, and Sajid Khan are all a part of the squad and should get some international exposure ideally.
There is just so much depth in the Pakistani bowling lineup that they can pick any four bowlers out of the squad and win this match. Haris Rauf, Sheheen Afridi, and Hasan Ali are obviously the first-choice fast-bowlers but the others in the squad are very good as well.
There is no reason to expect anything less than complete dominance from Pakistan in this match.
Imran Butt, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan, Faheem Ashraf, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi.
The team that wins the toss is going to want to bat first. The pitch is going to be flat and may deteriorate as the match goes on so batting first is going to be an advantage.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
We don’t think Zimbabwe is going to go into this match looking for a win and so it may opt for very flat conditions to try and give itself the best chance of drawing the match. This means some long bowling hours for the bowlers and plenty of runs being scored in the match.
Low bounce, slow pace, and some slow turn are expected in this match.
Dream11 tips and Dream11 team for Zim v Pak Test Match 2021
Find more Dream11 predictions and other tips and tricks on our dedicated Dream11 guide.
We have no hesitation in backing Pakistan to win this match. That is an obvious bet and does not have too much value in terms of the return you will get but there is just nothing to suggest that Zimbabwe will pull off an upset. Pakistan has a better bowling attack, a superior batting lineup, and consistently plays against the top teams in the world.
Bet on Pakistan to win.
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