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Zimbabwe T20I Tri-Series: 3rd Match Preview – Zimbabwe v Australia

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

Zimbabwe Tri-Series Zimbabwe v Australia Cricket Preview Cricket Blog
Photo credit: AFP

I’m a little more excited now. Just a few hours before writing this, Australia (unexpectedly, I must admit) absolutely destroyed the number one ranked T20I side, notching up their first international win since the first Test against South Africa in March.

Yes, it’s been a while. Nine losses in a row across all formats was brought to an end on Tuesday, in emphatic fashion.

Now, they are odds on to make it two straight wins against a Zimbabwe side that’s in the doldrums. That Pakistan hammered Zimbabwe, and then were subsequently hammered by Australia, shows the difficult state Zimbabwe find themselves in. To make matters worse, arguably their best bowler, Kyle Jarvis, broke his thumb and will miss the rest of the series. Is there any way they can compete with an Australia team that showed they are serious about winning this series?

Australia will enter this game having just wiped the floor with the number one side. Say what you want about Pakistan enjoying a number of matches against lower ranked opponents over the last few months, but a nine wicket rout with 55 balls to spare was far beyond the realms of imagination. Billy Stanlake set up the win with a magnificent spell of 4/8, enjoying the pace and bounce on offer in Harare. Skipper Aaron Finch, with his performance, would have picked up the man of the match award in most other matches. There is something for Australia to be positive about, finally.

Key to a Zimbabwe win

Well, wouldn’t this be the ultimate merry-go-round? Pakistan thrash Zimbabwe, Australia thrash Pakistan, Zimbabwe beat Australia? 
As unlikely as this may seem, T20 cricket can offer elements of unpredictability that is in contrast to the other formats. Nonetheless, Zimbabwe will have to be at their best (and Australia pretty bad) to cause a major upset.
One key that immediately comes to mind is handling big Billy Stanlake a lot better than Pakistan did. The Pakistani batsmen hung out their bats and played with little authority – a dangerous thing to do on a pitch with some bounce, and if the Zimbabweans do the same, they are asking for trouble. 
Against Pakistan, only Tarisai Musakanda, on T20I debut, put in a batting display that had any real substance. In their second match, Zimbabwe desperately need more from their experienced players such as Hamilton Mazakadza and Elton Chigumbura in these times of need.
Also, Aaron Finch’s wicket is vital for Zimbabwe as he is looking in great touch. Can Zimbabwe cause Australia any headaches without Kyle Jarvis?

Key to an Australia win

Australia can blow Zimbabwe away, especially based on the evidence we saw against Pakistan on Tuesday.

Billy Stanlake bowled out his four overs, picked up 4/8, as well as the man of the match award. He tormented Pakistan with pace and bounce, and a performance that is even slightly similar will likely be too much for Zimbabwe. Jhye Richardson, Marcus Stoinis and Ashton Agar were steady, but one possible area of concern is Andrew Tye. Despite taking three wickets at the end against Pakistan, Tye bowled too many “hit me” balls. These need to be kept to a minimum.

Also, Aaron Finch has now hit 84 and 68* in his last two T20 innings, and looks in irresistible form. Expect Australia to try impart their authority with the bat and let he hosts know who the superior T20 side is.

Predicted teams

With Kyle Jarvis out, Zimbabwe will probably bring in Chris Mpofu, or perhaps Donald Tiripano who was brought into the squad. With resources so thin as a result to current player boycotts, this could be Zimbabwe’s only change from the game against Pakistan.
Zimbabwe possible XI: 1. Solomon Mire, 2. Chamu Chibhabha, 3. Hamilton Mazakadza (c), 4. Tarisai Musakanda, 5. Peter Moor (wk), 6. Elton Chigumbura, 7. Ryan Burl, 8. Tendai Chisoro, 9. John Nyumbu, 10. Chris Mpofu, 11. Blessing Muzarabani
For Australia, why change?
Australia possible XI: 1. Aaron Finch (c), 2. D’Arcy Short, 3. Travis Head, 4. Glenn Maxwell, 5. Nic Maddinson 6. Marcus Stoinis, 7. Alex Carey (wk), 8. Ashton Agar, 9. Andrew Tye, 10. Jhye Richardson, 11. Billy Stanlake

Stats and Facts

  • Zimbabwe and Australia have only ever played one T20I against each other. This was in the World T20 in 2007, where Zimbabwe won by five wickets.
  • Two Zimbabwe players who played in that famous win are in this squad – Hamilton Mazakadza and Elton Chigumbura.
  • Billy Stanlake’s spell of 4/8 is the most economical completed spell for Australia in T20Is.
  • Australia’s win vs Pakistan was their first win in nine international matches, dating back to March.

Prediction

Australia. Not much more needs to be said.
Be sure to check out my 4 keys for India to be successful in England, as well as my 4 predictions for this Zimbabwe Tri-Series. Which will come true?
Thanks for reading!

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: https://www.youtube.com/@cricblogtv For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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