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Australia v Zimbabwe: 1st ODI preview

Australia return to action on Sunday when they take on Zimbabwe in the opening One Day International in Townsville, Queensland.

It is about to get hectic for the Aussies with some huge games in all formats on the agenda for the rest of 2022.

It all begins with three One Day Internationals against Zimbabwe, all to be played within the space of a week, before they go on to tackle New Zealand in three ODIs.

There can be no room for complacency against Zimbabwe and the Aussies will be keen to hit the ground running.

Australia were last in action during the tour of Sri Lanka, which did not go entirely to plan in tough conditions on the sub-continent.

They lost the ODI series 3-2 and will be keen to bounce back. Of course the conditions will suite back on home soil but they can take nothing for granted.

What: Australia v Zimbabwe
Where: Riverway Stadium, Townsville
When: 09:40 (AEST) Sunday 28th August 2022
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Australia 1/33, Zimbabwe 14/1


Australia name strong ODI squad

Australia will be missing Test skipper Pat Cummins who is being rested during the three-match series, but apart from that they have named a strong squad.

It shows they are taking the threat of Zimbabwe seriously and are paying big respect to the opposition.

Travis Head will also miss out as his partner is set to give birth, but the likes of Adam Zampa, Mitch Marsh, Sean Abbot, Ashton Agar, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc and Marcus Stoinis are all available after struggling with injury during the tour of Sri Lanka.

Captain Aaron Finch revealed his eleven that will face Zimbabwe in the opening ODI and it is a strong looking side to say the least.

Zampa, Smith and Starc all make their return to the side with Marnus Lambuschagne, Josh Inglis and Matthew Kuhnemann the players to make way.

Aussie team for the first ODI: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Steve Smith, Alex Carey (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.

Australia wary of Zimbabwe threat

Zimbabwe are not in great form when it comes to the 50-over format of the game having lost their last four matches, including a 3-0 series defeat against India, but they cannot be taken lightly.

They ran India close in the last game of the series and will take plenty of heart from that performance.

The last time the two sides met in a ODI, Zimbabwe won by three wickets. That was way back in 2014 and a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then.

The tourists are having to deal with a number of injury issues though following a hectic schedule throughout August.

Captain Craig Ervine is missing with a hamstring injury, while fast bowler Tendai Chatara is also out with a collarbone fracture.

Spin bowler Wellington Masakadza is missing with a shoulder complaint but it is not all bad news as pace ace Blessing Muzarabani returns to the side.

Zimbabwe team: Regis Chakabva (c), Ryan Burl, Bradley Evans, Luke Jongwe, Innocent Kaia, Takudzwanashe Kaitano, Clive Madande, Wessly Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Tony Munyonga, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams.

The main dangers

Zimbabwe do have some players who can hurt Australia, in particular star batsman Sikandar Razar, who has been in great form recently when smashing three centuries in his last six ODI’s.

Raza is ranked 26th in the world in the ODI format and scored 135 not out against Bangladesh and followed that up with 117 runs in the next game.

He also scored 115 runs against India and the Aussies are well aware of the threat he will possess.
So much so, fast bowler Josh Hazlewood says they have been taking a close look at the batsman.

"We'll sit down as bowlers and have a look as we always do," he told reporters earlier in the week. "The teams we don't play often we'll have a more in-depth look and go through some numbers and come up with some plans. So we'll do that the next few days.

"We usually just get together and have a chat. You know, go through some numbers with our analysts there and anyone who's really seen them whether it's IPL, county cricket, different things.

"The guys we don't come up against often we'll have a bit more in-depth look."

Australia will also be aware of left-arm bowler Richard Ngarava, who has been leading the attack in the absence of some key bowlers.

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