In a bilateral ODI, Australia last faced Zimbabwe 6664 days ago. And in a tri-series in August 2014, Australia last played Zimbabwe in a 50-over match. The truth is that there aren’t enough games between Australia and Zimbabwe. It won’t be any easier for the African nation when they square off against Australia in their own turf in a three-match 50-over bilateral series, starting Sunday. Zimbabwe has only won two ODIs against their illustrious opponent, the first time the two sides met in the 1983 World Cup and also the last time these two teams took on each other in Harare (August 28). In any case, Covid-19 caused the bilateral ODI series to be rescheduled from 2020 to 2021.
Putting aside the limited history between the two teams, Australia has a chance to move up in the ICC World Cup Super League standings after currently sitting in ninth place with 70 points. Australia has almost named a full squad for the Zimbabwe series despite losing their most recent ODI match to Sri Lanka. The crucial player who won’t be participating is Pat Cummins, Australia’s top paceman and Test captain, who has also been given a break. Conversely, middle order batter Travis Head is away at a paternity leave.
With players like Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc on the team for the series, Australia still has the firepower to keep their pace batteries supercharged. Sean Abbott has also secured a spot in the lineup despite his outstanding List A cricket resume (109 kills at 25.44). The 30-year-old fast bowler would like to get past a couple of underwhelming performances in limited overs internationals and establish a solid resume for future national selection.
Pace bowling all-rounders Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, and Cameron Green make up the lineup. The youthful Green would be under the selectors’ scrutiny, especially given that the all-rounder has developed a reputation for hitting a hard length. The front-row spinners are Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa. The batting lineup for the home team is likewise filled with coveted superstars, with Finch, Marnus Labuschagne, David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, and Steve Smith serving as the cornerstones. Alex Carey, a bat and a wicketkeeper, gives the batting order some cushion.