The T20I series had its surprises, including a defeat, but it was expected that the Test series would be a lot more lopsided in Pakistan’s favour. The logic behind that the longer the format, the lesser the chances for anything out of the ordinary as weaker teams usually get found out over longer periods than shorter bursts.
Thus, Babar Azam’s men were supremely clinical in the opening Test, securing an innings win and finishing their opponents inside three days.
There were no negatives whatsoever as the bowlers bowled out Zimbabwe twice for meager scores while the batters, in just one outing, piled up so many runs that they did not have to bat again.
The only thing left for critics was the fact that Pakistan, despite knowing the caliber of their opponents, still played a very strong line-up full of regular players. The only exception was off-spinner Sajid Khan, who made his debut.
Analyst Ramiz Raja recently urged the team management to try newbies and fringe players such as pacer Shahnawaz Dahani but it remains to be seen if any risks will be taken.
When Zimbabwe visited Pakistan late last year and also in the recent T20I series, there were positives for Zimbabwe even if they lost most of the times. In the first Test, however, there was very little – at least not on the batting side.
Fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani’s four-for was impressive but everything else was substandard. Across two innings, the hosts’ batters could not muster even a single half-century, with their individual highest being Roy Kaia’s 48.
Zimbabwe have yet to announce the squad for second Test, and this delay suggests that there could be a few changes on the horizon.