Pakistan will start their ODI series against Zimbabwe as favourites but skipper Sarfraz Ahmed is not talking hosts lightly as he expects them to be challenging in their home conditions. The batting conditions can be difficult in the morning despite the Queens Sports Club track’s traditionally benign nature. Spin can also be more of a factor at Queens, and Pakistan will be further buoyed by the possible return of leg-spinner Yasir Shah to their ODI playing XI. Zimbabwe are still missing several frontline players from their squad, with the likes of Brendan Taylor and Sikandar Raza absent after a dispute with the Zimbabwe Cricket board. Zimbabwe are likely to present much less of a challenge, despite playing at home, and Pakistan’s primary target in the series opener on Friday will be to secure their first ODI win of 2018.
Zimbabwe squad: Brian Chari, Tendai Chatara, Chamu Chibhabha, Elton Chigumbura, Tendai Chisoro, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Hamilton Masakadza (C), Wellington Masakadza, Peter Moor, Ryan Murray (WK), Tarisai Musakanda, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Liam Roche, Donald Tiripano, Malcolm Waller
Pakistan squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (C), Hassan Ali, Asif Ali, Mohammad Amir, Fahim Ashraf, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Imam-ul-Haq, Junaid Khan, Usman Khan, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Nawaz, Yasir Shah, Haris Sohail, Fakhar Zaman,