kane willamson
The Zimbabwe series will be Kane Williamson's first assignment as captain of New Zealand's Test teamGetty

Zimbabwe host New Zealand in the first Test match at Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo on Thursday (28 July).

Where to watch live

Match starts at 9am BST. Live TV coverage is available on Willow TV.

Overview

The Test series, which has escaped the media glare, see's the lowest ranked Test side Zimbabwe ready themselves for a two-match series against New Zealand.

The hosts come into the game on back of a 2-0 thrashing at the hands of India in May, and considering the lack of cricket played by the African nation in the past, two series in the space of a couple of months is good for Zimbabwe cricket.

The team that comes into this Test will be led by skipper Graeme Cremer, while South African legend Makhaya Ntini has taken over as new coach. Hamilton Masakadza and Craig Ervine will be the key players for the hosts, who will be missing pace-bowler Tendai Chatara due to an ankle injury.

The visitors too come into this series under a new captain, with Kane Williamson taking over from Brendon McCullum. The Kiwis last played a Test in February, though that will not be an issue as a number of their players have been playing different forms of cricket – be it the County Championship or the ongoing 2016 Caribbean Premier League.

In Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Tim Southee, Trent Boult and skipper Williamson, the Kiwis have individuals who are capable of winning games on their own. The wicket is expected to be on the slower side and the visitors will need to ensure that they adjust quickly on what is a very short tour.

Prediction

New Zealand to win

Betting Odds (betfair)

  • Zimbabwe to win: 12
  • Draw: 11/2
  • New Zealand to win: 1/7

Team News

Zimbabwe

Squad: Graeme Cremer (C), Regis Chakabva (WK), Brian Chari, Chamu Chibhabha, Michael Chinouya, Craig Ervine, Hamilton Masakadza, Prince Masvaure, Tino Mawoyo, Peter Moor, Richmond Mutumbami, Taurai Muzarabani, Njabulo Ncube, Sikandar Raza, Donald Tiripano, Sean Williams.

New Zealand

Squad: Kane Williamson (C), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Mark Craig, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Jeet Raval, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (WK).