Harare, Jul 22: The Zimbabwe cricket team assistant coach, Steve Mangongo, has described Team India as a dangerous outfit which should give them a high level of competition they need to improve their game.
Zimbabwe will host India in a five-match One Day International series from July 24 to August 3.
India, who recently won the Champions Trophy, last week named a strong squad with Virat Kohli as skipper.
Mangongo told The Herald newspaper that India have demonstrated that they are coming for serious competition as there was a general feeling that they could rest most of their top players after so much activity on the international stage.
“India are number one in the world and we respect them for that. They named a strong team and that is the competition that we need to face regularly.
“We are following their progress closely and if you look at the quality of the teams taking part in the recently held Tri-Series in West Indies, you can see that there is some good cricket being played there.
“But we are also doing our best here and so far we have seen lots of positives." Mangongo said.
The Zimbabwe squad is without wicketkeeper/batsman Regis Chakabva, Shingi Masakadza and Tinashe Panyangara, while Ray Price and Chris Mpofu are still out.
Zimbabwe will be led by Brendan Taylor and they have included regular campaigners like Hamilton Masakaza, Vusimuzi Sibanda, Elton Chigumbura, Prosper Utseya, Kyle Jarvis and Graeme Cremer.
There were also places for upcoming prospects like Tino Mutombodzi, Natsai M'shangwe, Sikander Raza and newboy Mike Chinouya.
Mangongo believes they have assembled a strong team to give the tourists a competitive series.
“I believe it's a balanced team considering the competition for places that we had. It was a good headache for the selectors. It's a mixture of youth and experience and I would like to say tough luck to the guys who didn't make it.
“The challenge is now on those selected to step up their act and show that they really deserved to be in the team,” said Mangongo.
Brendan Taylor (Captain, Wkt-keeper), Sikandar Raza Butt, Tendai Chatara, Mike Chinouya, Elton Chigumbura, Graeme Cremer, Kyle Jarvis, Timycen Maruma, Hamilton Masakadza, Natsai M'shangwe, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Vusimuzi Sibanda, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori, Malcolm Waller, Sean Williams
Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Cheteshwar Pujara, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Parveez Rasool, Mohammed Shami, Vinay Kumar, Jaidev Unadkat, Mohit Sharma