When India previously toured Zimbabwe, their skipper had won the Champions Trophy, the T20 World Cup, and the 50-over World Cup. That Indian team wasn’t at full strength. This also isn’t one. However, one of the team’s seven most recent captains is in charge of the current Indian squad.
After a protracted absence that includes a sports hernia operation and a positive Covid-19 test, KL Rahul is back in play. Rahul may feel at ease because he played his first ODI in Zimbabwe, where he scored a century and finished as the team’s top scorer in a 3-0 Indian victory over Zimbabwe in 2016.
Given that India is missing several of its top players, this may be Zimbabwe’s finest opportunity in a while to knock off a side ranked ten places higher than them in the ICC rankings. Despite having a diminished roster of their own due to injury, Zimbabwe is coming off two outstanding white-ball series victories against Bangladesh. In order to boost their confidence before they depart for Australia for the ODIs and the T20 World Cup, they would be eager to build on that form in order to earn some World Cup Super League points, where they are presently ranked 12th.
They defeated Bangladesh by chasing down totals of 304 and 291 in back-to-back games. Sikandar Raza, Innocent Kaia, and captain Regis Chakabva all made hundreds. But Zimbabwe’s top order will need to come up with stronger strategies to counter India’s bowling after falling to scores of 62 for 3, 27 for 3, and 18 for 3 in those three matches. The “fearless brand of cricket” will be put to the test more than it was when they played Bangladesh against the Indian spinners.
Zambia LWWLL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
The management of the squad will actively monitor Deepak Chahar’s progress in addition to Rahul. Chahar, once India’s top T20I new-ball bowler, returns to the field after an extended [since February] absence due to injuries. According to the lineups for the Asia Cup, where he is one of the reserves, he has at least slipped back in the T20 World Cup hierarchy. Despite the unusual format, Chahar will use these matches as a tryout for the T20 World Cup.
Luke Jongwe, in his opinion, was the “unsung hero” of the ODI series against Bangladesh, even though Raza received the Player-of-the-Series title. Although he didn’t take many wickets, he came on to bowl in difficult situations once the morning dampness had subsided and the conditions were favorable for batting. He did this to stop Bangladesh from scoring runs in the middle and final overs. It may be crucial for Zimbabwe how he performs against India’s middle-order hitters and finishers.
The last time Rahul played ODIs, he batted in the middle of the order, but he is one of India’s top candidates to start the T20 World Cup. Will the management bat him in the middle or open with him to give him some experience at the top? If Rahul is positioned lower down, Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill may continue to open for India in ODIs played in the Caribbean. Rahul will obviously come in and Ruturaj Gaikwad might make his ODI debut at some stage in the series as Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer aren’t in the squad.
Shikhar Dhawan is the starting Indian captain, followed by Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KL Rahul, and Sanju Samson/Ishan Kishan (wk), Deepak Hooda, 6 Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur/Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, and Avesh Khan round out the top seven.
Some of Zimbabwe’s top players, including Craig Ervine (hamstring), Wellington Masakadza (shoulder), Blessing Muzarabani (thigh muscle rupture), and Tendai Chatara, will continue to be out due to injuries (collarbone fracture). However, Sean Williams’ return after missing the previous Bangladesh series to “see to some personal problems” is encouraging for them. * Zimbabwe must decide whether to separate the stale opening duo of Takudzwanashe Kaitano and Tadiwanashe Marumani or to give them another chance.
Takudzwanashe Kaitano, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Innocent Kaia, and Zimbabwe (probable) 4 Wessly Madhevere/Sean Williams, 5 Sikandar Raza, Regis Chakabva (captain, wk), 7 Ryan Burl and Tony Munyonga, 8 Luke Jongwe, 9 Brad Evans, 10 Victor Nyauchi, and 11 Tanaka Chivanga are the order of players.
Pitch and circumstances
In all three of the games against Bangladesh, the Harare Sports Club provided batting-friendly surfaces, but because to the early starts, there was also something for the morning quick bowlers. A beautiful day with sunshine and a high of 27 degrees Celsius is forecast for Thursday.
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