Harare: Zimbabwe managed to beat India not once but twice the last time they were here and coach Andy Waller is hoping that his team will spring the same surprise in at least one match of the five-game ODI series that starts on Wednesday.
"All along we've prepared and hoped we might surprise them in one of the games. You've got to be realistic, but as long as we're competitive and do the best we can," said Waller.
"Our guys are very excited about the series. It will be a great experience for them, and we've been preparing knowing that the best side in the world is coming. I think the guys are up for it. Hopefully all the hard work we've put in in the last nine weeks is going to pay off," he added.
The India-Zimbabwe limited-over series is Waller's first international assignment as head coach. He took over from Steve Mangongo, who had held the position in a caretaker's role until the end of the home series against Bangladesh in May.
The Indian team might be missing some of its senior players, including captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on this tour, but Waller insisted that Zimbabwe did not consider the squad a depleted one.
"I think they've just got so many good players. With the new guys who've come in, I don't think there's a huge difference to be honest," said Waller.
"We know that they're all very good cricketers, so we don't look at it like a weakened (bowling) attack at all."
Zimbabwe have prepared hard for the series. Apart from having a training camp, they have also played a three-day practice match against Australia A at the Country Club, which the visitors won by 80 runs.
Waller said he expected the batsmen to have an easier time at the Harare Sports Club, where the first three ODIs will be played, than in Bulawayo.
"It was quite an interesting wicket (at Country Club), quite a difficult wicket. I think the guys are actually quite positive about it, because they were a good bowling side. And I think we know it's a lot harder batting on the wicket there than it will be at Sports Club," he said.
Waller also confirmed that veteran left-arm spinner Ray Price will be a part of the Zimbabwe squad during the series.
"Price is in the squad, I don't know why he wasn't named in the original list," said Waller after the team's net session.