Australia vs Zimbabwe 3rd T20I Preview: Aussies look to thrash depleted Zimbabwe
Australia began their tri-series campaign with a convincing nine-wicket win over Pakistan and they will now look for another win when they face hosts Zimbabwe in the third T20I at the Harare Sports Club on Tuesday, July 3.
Australia and Zimbabwe have faced each other just once in this format. That solitary game was played at Cape Town in the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 which Zimbabwe won by five wickets in the penultimate ball of the match. But it will be a lot more difficult for them to beat Aussies now.
Australia: The crushing win against Pakistan in their opening game of the series would have given Australia a much-needed confidence booster. They have now won six out of seven T20I matches they have played this year. After that 28-run loss to England at Birmingham, the Aussies are back on winning track.
For the visitors, Aaron Finch has returned to form with scores of 84 and 68* in his previous two games and will, therefore, be the key man in this batting lineup. While Glenn Maxwell has a strike rate of 165 in T20Is and the team's middle-order batting will depend largely on him.
In the bowling department, Billy Stanlake and Andrew Tye will pose the biggest threat to the hosts with the ball. Both shared seven wickets between them against Pakistan and they are likely to do the damage once again.
Expected Team: Aaron Finch, D'Arcy Short, Travis Head, Billy Stanlake, Andrew Tye, Alex Carey, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Agar and Jhye Richardson
Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe will be down on confidence after being completely dominated by Pakistan in the series opener. Without five of their senior members in Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor, Sikandar Raza, Graeme Cremer and Sean Williams, they may not be able to pose any threat to the visitors.
For the hosts, fast bowler Kyle Jarvis hurt his hand badly while fielding in the opening match of the series against Pakistan. Medium pacer Chris Mpofu seems the most likely candidate to replace Jarvis.
The hosts will bank on their most reliable batsmen Hamilton Masakadza, Chamu Chibhabha and Elton Chigumbura to deliver the goods with the bat. The hosts will also have expectations from Tarisai Musakanda who smashed 43 runs on debut in the last match
While Tendai Chisoro, who picked up key scalps of Fakhar Zaman and Sarfraz Ahmed against Pakistan, will be key bowlers for the African Nation.
Expected Team: Hamilton Masakadza, Solomon Mire, Chamu Chibhabha, John Nyumbu, Tarisai Musakanda, Peter Moor, Elton Chigumbura, Tendai Chisoro, Blessing Muzarabani, Ryan Burl and Chris Mpofu