About the Match
After a dismal world cup and tour of Pakistan, Zimbabwe prepares to host India in a 3-match ODI series and 2 T20Is this month; the first ODI is scheduled to take place on 10th July at Harare. India had a disappointing series against Bangladesh which they lost 2-1 recently and they will be eager to bounce back here. Zimbabwe on the other hand looks pumped up about its chances against the men in blue with a rejuvenated side consisting of young talent. The contest will definitely be interesting and will be a test for the inexperienced lot from both sides.
The batting line-up looks good with batsmen like Elton Chigumbura, Hamilton Masakadza and Sean Williams in the middle order who can stabilize the innings with their experience and determination. The top order consists of Vusi Sibanda and Sikandar Raza, who need to focus on building a strong foundation for the team; their recent performance has seen a lot of ups and downs but they surely look motivated to do well against the Indians.
Graeme Cremer has been in good form with his leg-break and will try to outwit the Indian batsmen, who will take time to adjust to the local conditions here; Brian Vitori, Utseya, Panyangara and Mpofu will also feature in the bowling squad and will try to make their skills count for the team.
Their strength lies in the fact that most of the batsmen in the top six of the line-up are also good with the ball and have time and again proved themselves as all-rounders; combined with the home advantage and some good planning, they can surely pack a punch in the upcoming series against India.
The senior players like Dhoni, Kohli and Raina have been rested for this series and Ajinkya Rahane will lead the team with conviction; it will be a test for him to prove his skills as a solid middle order batsman. The others in the batting line-up have performed well in domestic cricket and they too will be eager to showcase their talents; Manish Pandey, Robin Uthappa, Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav and Manoj Tiwari have all contributed with the bat on different occasions but this will be a big test for them to solidify their position in the team.
Youngsters Stuart Binny, Dhawal Kulkarni, Axar Patel and Ambati Rayudu have done well in the recently concluded IPL and they will be motivated to do well here too; the bowling squad consists of specialists like Harbhajan Singh, Mohit Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and part-timers like Binny. They can bring out their firepower to outwit the hosts and give the competitive edge to the team.
Overall, the team has some fresh faces who will be eager to come out all guns blazing and combined with the experience of the senior members, this team could look forward to bouncing back with a win here.
Zimbabwe has the home advantage and the players are eager to cheer up their fans; India has some of their key members missing and they need to get settled in first, still India has the services of experienced players, albeit in tests, IPL and domestic season, and therefore we feel that the visitors will win the first match