Zimbabwe seemed quite strong that many would have thought in the opening match of the test series despite of the fact that they were playing without Sean Williams and Brendan Taylor. With both these making their way back into the side for the 2nd Test at Harare, the Zimbabwean outfit will look even stronger this time around. Taylor will be back into the side from his paternity leave whereas Williams isn’t on strike any longer after the contract has been signed with Tino Mawoyo and Richmond Mutumbami be the strong candidates for the upcoming test. Graeme Cremer should be given chance ahead of Prosper Utseya as he can be more threatening.
In first test, the seam attack for the hosts looked quite dominant and now, when the pitch has been subjected to short turnaround resulting in being underprepared, Tinashe Panyangara along with rest of the crew will definitely love to bowl in these conditions. It seems that the triumphant captain at the toss should better bowl first.
So many of the batsmen from the hosts got good starts in the first test but they couldn’t capitalize the situation and no one could manage to convert that initiative into something substantial. Now as they move into the second test match, this will have to change so that the entire burden is not on Taylor’s shoulders or Masakadza or Williams feeling the responsibility.
How the minnows will charge against the spin twins of Pakistan is in balance though. Both Ajmal and Rehman were dominant in the last match even on the track that didn’t deteriorate much. Sikandar Raza and Malcolm Waller were better of them and the other batsmen should learn from that. If they do, the things will be a lot easier for them to handle.
The concern for the Zimbabweans is their opening pair. Tino Mawoyo is likely to be dropped for the second test and Hamilton Masakadza will probably see a promotion. He and Vusi Sibanda will really have to generate some innings like they did in T20s and ODIs.
On the other hand, Pakistanis will not really have to think much about the playing XI they should introduce in the 2nd Test. There wasn’t much consistency shown by Rahat Ali as by Junaid Khan still he really deserves another chance. Same is the case with Khurram Manzoor in top order. Youngsters should really have to step up around their veteran members and give a better account of their skills. This is what Younis Khan insisted upon and what he said can’t go in vain.
In first test Pakistan’s batting revolved around Younis Khan, especially in the 2nd innings, and they’ll really love to do the same once more. Another similar performance from the big guy will really raise lots of hopes for the visitors.
After winning the first test by a heavy margin, Pakistan will be aiming to end the tour on a high and get a win similar to T20s and ODIs. They do have a capability to do so as well.
The minnows have just returned to ICC rankings whereas the formidable Pakistan side occupies the fourth spot at present. Both the sides have moved up in rankings and will be looking to go a step further this time around.