HARARE: Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor won the toss and elected to bat against Pakistan in the second and final Test on Tuesday, making first use of a well-worn pitch at Harare Sports Club which has had just two days to recover from the first match.
Pakistan, which needs only a draw for a series victory, retained the same lineup from its 221-run win in the first Test on Saturday.
Taylor returned for Zimbabwe after he missed the opening test because of the recent birth of his child, while left-arm seamer Brian Vitori came in for Shingi Masakadza.
The pitch may play a big part in the series decider after the game was relocated from Bulawayo to Harare at late notice by the struggling Zimbabwe cricket board to save costs.
Pakistan spinners Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman are likely to thrive on a deteriorating surface after they took 15 of Zimbabwe’s 20 wickets in the first test to put the tourists on course for their first series victory since beating England at the beginning of last year.
Zimbabwe has won just one of six series since returning from a self-imposed exile from the longer format in 2011 and lost four straight before drawing with Bangladesh this year.
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Khurram Manzoor, Younis Khan, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Adnan Akmal, Abdur Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan, Rahat Ali.
Zimbabwe: Brendan Taylor (captain), Vusi Sibanda, Tino Mawoyo, Hamilton Masakadza, Malcolm Waller, Elton Chigumbura, Richmond Mutumbami, Prosper Utseya, Tinashe Panyangara, Brian Vitori, Tendai Chatara.