South Africa and Zimbabwe begin their three-match one-day series in Bulawayo on Sunday.
Venue: Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo
Dates: Sunday, 17 August
Start time: 8:30 a.m. BST (9:30 a.m. local time)
TV and live stream: SuperSport (South Africa and Zimbabwe), PTV Sports (Pakistan), Ten Sports (India and others), Orbit Show Network (Middle East)
Weather: AccuWeather.com gives the all-clear for the match on Sunday. Temperatures will be cool, with a high of 19 degrees Celsius and a few clouds.
Every match of ODI cricket that will be played in the next few months will be played with a bigger picture in mind.
That picture is the 2015 World Cup that will take place in Australia and New Zealand. Teams are fine-tuning their squads, looking for a diamond in the rough or the x-factor that might help them over the line.
South Africa have opted to send a number of relative rookies for this leg of the series, with Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander all being rested. In come Marchant de Lange, Kyle Abbott and Mthokozisi Shezi to try and stake a claim for a spot in the one-day team.
In the batting department, Rilee Rossouw is the one new face giving South Africa the option of resting one of their senior batsmen.
While the results are somewhat less important in this series, testing their strength in depth matters far more. The two sides have played each other in 32 ODIs over the years, with South Africa holding a massive advantage, having won 29 out of 32, losing just two. From those stats alone, the Proteas should be favourites, even with a weakened team.
Yet, this is not too different to two years ago when a second-string team visited the country for an unofficial T20 tri-series which saw them beaten by both Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. That, too, was in the build-up to a ICC World event with the ICC World T20 the main aim back then.
Still, with a fierce batting lineup, South Africa should be competitive. The bowlers will be under more pressure, but at least some of them have played some form of competitive cricket recently. It’s all set up for a very interesting trial for the rookies and a big prize of World Cup squad inclusion at the end of it.
Quiton de Kock continues to grow as an international cricketer, and he is also on the brink of a milestone. A hundred in his next ODI will see him become the fastest-ever to 1000 runs in one-day cricket, breaking the great Sir Vivian Richards' record.
Elton Chigumbura has been reinstated as one-day captain and his all-round prowess will be pushed to the limit. His last few outings in international colours have not brought him much success, with an unbeaten 39 against Afghanistan his top score in his last four matches.
Quinton de Kock(w), Hashim Amla, Rilee Rossouw, Jean-Paul Duminy, AB de Villiers(c), Faf du Plessis, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Ryan McLaren, Kyle Abbott, Imran Tahir, Marchant de Lange, Aaron Phangiso, Mthokozisi Shezi
Elton Chigumbura(c), Richmond Mutumbami(w), Luke Jongwe, Neville Madziva, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Timycen Maruma, Hamilton Masakadza, Shingirai Masakadza, Malcolm Waller, Prosper Utseya, John Nyumbu, Tinashe Panyangara, Vusi Sibanda, Sikandar Raza, Brendan Taylor, Brian Vitori, Sean Williams
All stats via ESPNCricinfo, unless otherwise stated.