The series I'm referring to is neither between Pakistan and England nor is it the famous Ashes, but it is to be played on Zimbabwean soil and the team pitted against them will be India.

The clash between these two teams certainly cannot be termed `the clash of Titans', but it is expected to provide cricket lovers, not necessarily from these two countries, with something absorbing and enthralling, keeping in view their recent track records.

While the Indians are buoyant after their great series win over the unofficial world test champions, Australia, the Zimbabweans are also happy after whitewashing Bangladesh. And, both these victories have come on home grounds. So it would be an added challenge for India, as they are playing away after a long time.

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar - Arguably the world's best batsman
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Indians certainly look stronger on paper, having the likes of Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, and the newly found talent in VVS Laxman, not to mention, arguably the best batsman in the world, Sachin Tendulkar.

History is also in India's favour. They have lost only one match against Zimbabwe, having played five Tests since 1992, after Zimbabwe attained test status. Incidentally, that one-off Test, after which Zimbabwe became the 8th test-playing nation, was played against India.

However, India's away record is not something they can be proud of. Of the 157 Tests played away, they have managed victories in only 14, losing the enormous number of 70 matches. It was in 1993-94 when they last won a test series against a formidable opposition (a 1-0 victory over Sri Lanka), before setting aside the modest challenge posed by Bangladesh in the one-off Test played last year in Dhaka.

Andy Flower
Andy Flower will be the key against India
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As far as records go, Zimbabwe have nothing much to be proud of either, yet they have always proved worthy opponents especially on home soil. Their individual talents might not be comparable to the artistic prowess of say Sachin, yet as a team, they are always hard to beat.

Andy Flower, regarded their most reliable batsman and probably the most successful wicket keeper/batsman of recent times, will be the key against India. Without doubt, he has been the most successful batsman for Zimbabwe in recent times, having scored 1141 runs in 11 tests since January 2000, making for an average of 76.06. In these 11 tests, he has scored 3 hundreds, including a double ton at Wellington against New Zealand, and 6 fifties. Moreover, the last seven of his 8 innings have yielded scores over fifty.

Alistair Campbell
Alistair Campbell - A reliable batsman
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Another important member of Zimbabwean squad is Alistair Campbell. Since handing over the captaincy to Heath Streak, he has discovered a new self and is getting runs more consistently. Also, the left-hander's record against India is better than his overall showing in test cricket. He maintains an average of over 34 against them, while his overall average is 26.45. Moreover, his only test hundred has also come against India (102 at Nagpur in 2000-01).

Apart from these veterans, Zimbabwe will have some fresh faces in their side like Brighton Watambwa, Ray Price and Andy Blignaut - the first two being pacers and the last a left-arm orthodox spinner. All these youngsters possess immense talent and always seem keen to perform for their side.

Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh - 32 wickets in the last series
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Indians have always relied on spinners to deliver the goods. Their success against Australia weighed heavily on off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who found a lot of help in the home pitches. His 32 wickets, at 20.02 apiece, in a three-match rubber is amazing stuff, a fair warning for the Zimbabweans.

Considering India's strength in spin, one wouldn't be surprised to see fast and bouncy tracks in Zimbabwe - a country where wickets have traditionally suited pace bowling. Also, the Zimbabwean bowling strength lies mainly in their pace department, with skipper Heath Streak being quite an inspiration for the younger members of the side.

India, on the other hand, would heavily depend on how Srinath, the most experienced pacer in their line-up, fares on such pitches. They will also be looking up to Zaheer Khan and Ajit Agarkar to help crack their opponent's batting wall, so that other more experienced hands, can turn them into full fledged gaps.

The two Test matches of the series, to be played, at Bulawayo (7-11 June) and Harare (15-19 June) will be followed by a tri-angular series involving West Indies as the third team.

Thus, this month-and-a-half long tour is going to be a real test for India, who are beaming with confidence and looking to show the world they are winners away from home too.