BLACKCAPS overwhelming favourites

The BLACKCAPS go into tonight's tri-series opener against Zimbabwe at Harare as overwhelming favourites after their comprehensive Test series victory.

Although five players from the Zimbabwe Test team have been dropped for the series, the New Zealanders appear far too strong in all areas of the game.

An in-form bowling attack led by and will be matched by an equally strong batting order.

The only concern in the batting line-up is a finger injury Nathan Astle sustained in the second Test. Because it has not recovered, James Marshall will return to Zimbabwe as cover.

Although the last ODI series played between the two teams saw a 2-1 win to Zimbabwe back in 2001, the real Test for the BLACKCAPS will come when they face India on Friday.

The three teams play each other twice in the series, with the leading two progressing to the final. That will be played at Harare on September 6.

The BLACKCAPS 12 for tonight's match is:

Stephen Fleming (captain), Lou Vincent, Hamish Marshall, Craig McMillan, Scott Styris, Chris Cairns, Jacob Oram, Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori (v captain), Andre Adams, Kyle Mills, Shane Bond

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