About the Match
India registered a 3-0 clean sweep in the ODI series against Zimbabwe; both teams will now gear up for the 2-match T20 series, with the first match scheduled to be held on 17th July at Harare. The hosts did cause a few hiccups for the visitors but couldn’t really convert the hard-work into wins. They will need to come back stronger in the T20 series, a format which the Indians are very good at.
They have good variety in pace bowling with Madziva, Tiripano and Chibhabha being among the wicket-takers; Masakadza, Panyangara and Vitori need to contain the opposition and provide depth to the attack. Utseya, Cremer, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams and Chakabva can pull out some tricks to upset the batsmen but they would need to be cautious in handling the pressure in this format of the game.
In the batting line-up, Elton Chigumbura, who scored a well-made century in the first ODI match, can provide stability along with players like Chibhabha, who posted 82 runs in the last match and came up with 72 in the 2nd ODI. However, the others like Sibanda, Masakadza, Sikandar Raza and Williams need to pull up their socks and start building good partnerships to take the team to victory.
Overall, they have the potential to win the upcoming match with talented players in all departments of the game but they need to go ahead with a positive mindset in order to emerge victorious.
The young guns have been firing for the team, setting up strong foundations, which has helped them register the ODI series win against the hosts; players like Kedar Jadhav, who posted a well-made century coming in at No.6 in the third match, are bringing stability to the batting line-up. With Tiwari, Binny, Uthappa and Pandey, who scored 71 runs in the last match, the middle-order has definitely come alive.
Rahane and Vijay have been performing well as openers; their 112-run opening stand in the 2nd match helped them build a good foundation. Rayudu's brilliant unbeaten 124 in the opening game provided the much-needed revival of the innings at a time when the middle order had collapsed; along with the bowlers, who took consistent wickets he was instrumental in scoring a win.
Bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Axar Patel, Binny and the experienced Harbhajan Singh are providing regular breakthroughs and stifling the opponent with the run-flow. They look good to continue with their form; Mohit Sharma took 2-33 in the last match while Kumar was phenomenal giving away only 12 runs in his 6-over spell. Overall, they are a well-balanced unit with in-form batsmen and result oriented bowlers, who can be match-winners when the situation demands.
Zimbabwe came close to winning the first match but couldn’t cross the finish line; they do have the firepower to come back stronger here. However, the Indians have mastered the art of winning a T20 game and have superior skills in both batting and bowling; they are better placed to win the upcoming match too