Pakistan and Zimbabwe start bid for World Cup qualification in Rawalpindi

By Sports Desk October 29, 2020

Pakistan will be expected to continue their ODI winning streak when Babar Azam's reign starts with a three-match series against Zimbabwe on Friday.

Babar will take charge of his country for the first time in the 50-over format at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, where all three matches will be staged, after succeeding Sarfraz Ahmed.

Chamu Chibhabha has been charged with the task of leading Zimbabwe when ODI cricket returns to Rawalpindi for the first time since 2006.

No fans will be allowed in for the first internationals to take place in Pakistan since the coronavirus outbreak ground sport to a halt. 

Pakistan have their sights set on maximum points in the ICC World Cricket Super League as they bid to secure automatic qualification for the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India.

We use Opta data to preview the series, which will see Douglas Hondo take over as head coach of the tourists after Lalchand Rajput opted against making the trip.

- This is set to be the 13th multi-game men's bilateral ODI series between the two nations. Pakistan have won 11 of those and the other was drawn.

- Pakistan have won 52 of their 57 completed ODIs versus Zimbabwe (T1 L4) and they are on a six-game winning run against them in the 50-over format.

- Zimbabwe have suffered 17 defeats in their 18 ODIs in Pakistan (W1); they have lost both contests at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.

- The tourists are playing their first international in Pakistan since May 2015. They have not been victorious in any game in the country since recording a seven-wicket Test win back in 1998.

- Pakistan have put together a six-game winning ODI streak. They lost 13 times in 14 matches before this run.

- Zimbabwe are one shy of a 500th international defeat. The tourists have only managed to win 168 games, drawing 28 and securing a tie in nine.

- Fakhar Zaman has scored 515 runs in five ODI innings versus Zimbabwe, averaging 257.5. That is the best rate ever recorded by a batsman against a single opponent in men's ODI cricket (minimum 400 runs).

- No bowler claimed more wickets than Faheem Ashraf (nine) when Pakistan took on Zimbabwe in their last ODI bilateral series, picking those scalps up for just 67 runs.

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