About the Match
After the successful domestic season, India gets geared up for a series of international tours; they will take on hosts Zimbabwe in a 3-match ODI series followed by a 3-match T20 series this month with the 1st ODI scheduled to be held at Harare on 11th June. Zimbabwe will take this opportunity to polish its competency against a strong unit like India whereas the visitors will have to adapt to the conditions quickly in order to come out triumphant. Zimbabwe will try to put its best foot forward and it will be interesting to see if the men in blue can overcome the challenges here on Saturday.
Graeme Cremer will lead the side that has experienced batsmen like Masakdza, Sean Williams, Craig Ervine and all-rounders Sikandar Raza and Elton Chigumbura, who bring depth to the batting line-up. They had a poor run at the World Cup but would like to use the home advantage here to come out all guns blazing against one of the best ODI teams.
In the bowling attack, they have Captain Cremer, who can throw in leg break googlies to stun the opponents, Wellington Masakadza, the left-arm spinner and all-rounders like Raza, Ervine, Williams and Peter Moor. The pace attack will see the young Tendai Chatara, Tendai Chisoro, Neville Madziva, Taurai Muzarabani and Tawanda Mupariwa bring out their talents to help the team in taking regular wickets. They need a good strategy against the hard-hitting experienced Indian batsmen, whether defending a total or restricting the opponents in their run-flow.
Cremer has experience and good resources at hand, which he needs to utilize at the right time to cause heavy upsets for the visitors; the batsmen must rise up to the occasion and try to post huge total if batting first.
Dhoni may not have had a successful IPL but he surely has the determination to guide his boys to triumph in the upcoming ODI series; it is a young side with uncapped players like batsman Faiz Fazal, Karun Nair and Mandeep Singh, spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Jayant Yadav being chosen for their skillset. The batting line-up surely is inexperienced and they will need to be cautious here against the hosts, who are in their comfort zone.
However, there are some names who can carry the responsibility of building strong totals; Lokesh Rahul, Manish Pandey, Ambati Rayudu and Rishi Dhawan will try to up the ante in order to help the weakened ODI unit put up good fights. Speedsters Dhawal Kulkarni, Jasprit Bumrah, Jaydev Unadkat, Barinder Sran and Rishi Dhawan will have to repeat their IPL magic here while spinners Chahal, Jayant Yadav, Axar Patel and Kedar Jadhav need to provide breakthroughs as necessary.
Overall, it will be a huge challenge for the youngsters to face Zimbabwe in unknown conditions but with Dhoni’s guidance, India can surely look for a positive outcome at the end of the day.
Zimbabwe has prepared well for the series and they will be anxious to live up to the expectations of their fans; on the other hand, India after the recent IPL series, will definitely try to dominate the hosts. The match could swing either way but we feel that India is better placed to win the match