Pakistan has won the both the T20 matches against Zimbabwe last week, and now the focus shifts to the slightly longer format, with all three matches set to be played in Harare.
The ODIs will give the hosts a calmer atmosphere in which to build an innings, but they have not beaten Pakistan in a one-dayer since 1998, some 26 matches ago, and without their senior batsmen coming to the party, that’s unlikely to change.
Brendan Taylor, always vital to his team’s success, had a horrific time against India last month, making three ducks in five games, and in the T20s last week he wasn’t much better. Hamilton Masakadza, meanwhile, failed to pass 40 against India, and will need to find form quickly.
By contrast, Pakistan have Mohammad Hafeez, Misbah-ul-Haq and Ahmed Shehzad to call on, all of whom are in fine form. They will be without wicket keeper Umar Akmal though, as doctors work to find out why he has been having seizures.
As for the bowlers, Zimbabwe’s best bowler against India, Kyle Jarvis, is no longer available after moving to England, and even then he only took four wickets in three games. It will be up to Brian Vitori, one suspects, to make the breakthroughs.