Zimbabwe is nowhere a match for the mighty South Africans but they showed up some resistance in the first innings of the lone test match that South Africa won recently. Zimbabwe bowlers have a long way to go if they want to challenge a top team like South Africa but their batting has showed some signs. Limited overs cricket is more suited to the lower ranked teams as they have a better chance to compete as compared to Test cricket. Zimbabwe has not been playing much cricket with the top teams so this is a great chance to up their skills.
Masakadza, Taylor and Sibanda are the best bet for Zimbabwe in the batting department and they will have to fire if they are to match up to South Africa in the batting department. Taylor is capable of getting the big hundreds so he will have to stay till the end whenever he comes in to bat. Sibanda and Masakadza will look to give their team a good start which is very important as Steyn and company will look to take wickets upfront. The rest of the batting for Zimbabwe is not very experienced so this trio has to do the job for them.
South Africa reached is the team to beat in any format in cricket at the moment but they will not play with their best team. They will look to test their bench strength and herein lies a chance for Zimbabwe to play their best and create an upset. However, an upset will be quite difficult as South Africa has reliable players in the form of De Kock, Amla, De Villiers and Faf Du Plessis. Some of the other players called into the team like Ryan Mclaren and Waye Parnell are limited over specialists and have plenty of experience playing in T20 leagues.
Elton Chigumbura has been named the captain for Zimbabwe again so the expectations from him are quite high to lead the side from the front. He has been on the international scene for a long time so has to deliver for his country in this ODI series. The dice is definitely loaded in favor of the visitors as they have world class players in their squad. But, they cannot get complacent and take Zimbabwe lightly as they were beaten last time around when they sent a second string side. The One Day series should be more closely contested than the solitary Test match that took place.
South Africa – 1.13 @ BetVictor