The hosts shocked the world recently by beating a star-studded Pakistan side in a T20I match recently and could have even won the series, had they kept their cool in the final T20I.
Their confidence must have been boosted with those kind of performances and they’d be keen to impress in the longest format as well.
However, already not blessed with the deepest of talent pools, Zimbabwe will also be without by several of their regulars due to injuries. Craig Ervine has a calf injury while Sikandar Raza has not yet recovered from his infection.
Ryan Burl, Wesley Madhevere, Richmond Mutumbami, and Brandon Mavuta have been left out. The injuries and cuts meant a lot of new positions were open so Zimbabwe selectors have inducted uncapped quintet Luke Jongwe, Richard Ngarava, Roy Kaia, Milton Shumba and Tanaka Chivanga into their squad, while Brendan Taylor and Tendai Chisoro have also been recalled.
Pakistan have several new faces on their roster but then that has been nothing new under the reign of chief selector Mohammad Wasim. It remains to be soon though that how many of Abdullah Shafique, Agha Salman, Sajid Khan, Saud Shakeel, Shahnawaz Dahani, Tabish Khan and Zahid Mahmood end up making the cut.
The hosts will be wary of the fact that despite their excellent overall record against Zimbabwe, they did lose the last time they played a Test in Harare back in 2013 and ended up drawing the series 1-1. For a team featuring big names such as Younis Khan and Saeed Ajmal, it was a major disappointment.
Incumbent head coach Misbah was the captain back then and will know better not to underestimate the opponents, who are capable of springing surprises.