Match Preview – Zimbabwe vs India, India at Zimbabwe 2022, 1st ODI

Match Preview – Zimbabwe vs India, India at Zimbabwe 2022, 1st ODI

Match Preview – Zimbabwe vs India, India at Zimbabwe 2022, 1st ODI

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The last time India toured Zimbabwe, it was with a captain who had won a T20 World Cup, an Over-50 World Cup and a Champions Trophy title. That was not a full strength Indian side. This is not one either. But this Indian team is led by one of their seven captains of late.

KL Rahul returns to action after a long layoff, which included sports hernia surgery and a positive test for Covid-19. What might make Rahul feel comfortable is that Zimbabwe is where he turned a century in his ODI debut and finished top scorer when India blanked Zimbabwe 3-0 in 2016.

India is missing some of its best players, and it could be Zimbabwe’s best chance in a long time to topple a team ten places above them in the ICC standings. Although Zimbabwe themselves are also exhausted, due to injuries, they come on the back of fantastic series wins in both cue ball formats against Bangladesh. They would be keen to build on that form to pick up some points from the World Cup Super League, where they currently sit 12th, to build confidence before flying to Australia for ODI and the T20 World Cup.

Against Bangladesh, they chased totals of 304 and 291 in successive games, Sikandar Raza scoring centuries in both games, Innocent Kaia in the first and captain Regis Chakabva in the second. But top-order Zimbabwe, who dropped to scores of 62-for-3, 27-for-3 and 18-for-3 in those three games, will have to find better answers against bowling India. Against the Indian bowlers, the “fearless brand of cricket” will be tested more than it was when they played against Bangladesh.

form guide

Zimbabwe LWWLL (last five games completed, most recent first)
India WWWWL

In the spotlight

In addition to keeping an eye on Rahul, the team’s management will follow the progress of deepak chahar closely. Once he was India’s leading bowler in T20I, Chahar returns to the field after a long [since February] dismissal due to injury He has slipped back down the pecking order for the T20 World Cup, at least judging by the Asia Cup selections, in which he is among the reserves. A different format, but these games will be an audition for Chahar ahead of the T20 World Cup.

Raza took the Player of the Series award for the ODIs against Bangladesh, but the “unsung hero”, according to him, was Lucas Jonghwe. He didn’t take too many wickets, but he came to bowling in sticky situations once the morning humidity dried up in batting-friendly conditions, and he dried up runs for Bangladesh in the middle and death overs. How he meets India’s middle-order batsmen and finishers could be key for Zimbabwe.

team news

Rahul batted in the middle order the last time he played ODI, but he is among India’s favorites for an opening berth at the T20 World Cup. Will management open up to him to get some practice up top or will they continue to hit him in the middle? Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill opened for India in the ODIs in the Caribbean and could continue there if Rahul is placed lower. Without Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer in the squad, Rahul will of course come in, and Ruturaj Gaikwad could make his ODI debut at some point in the series.

India: 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 4 KL Rahul (capt), 5 Sanju Samson/Ishan Kishan (week), 6 Deepak Hooda, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Shardul Thakur/Deepak Chahar, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Mohamed Siraj, 11 Prasidh Krishna/Avesh Khan

Zimbabwe will continue to be without some of their key players, who are injured, including Craig Ervine (hamstring), Wellington Masakadza (shoulder), Blessing Muzarabani (torn thigh muscle) and Tendai Chatara (broken collarbone). The question for Zimbabwe is whether to break the out-of-form opening combination of Takudzwanashe Kaitano and Tadiwanashe Marumani or give them another chance.

Zimbabwe (likely): 1 Takudzwanashe Kaitano, 2 Tadiwanashe Marumani, 3 Innocent Kaia, 4 Wessly Madhevere, 5 Sikandar Raza, 6 Regis Chakabva (cap., week), 7 Ryan Burl/Tony Munyonga, 8 Luke Jongwe, 9 Brad Evans, 10 Victor Nyauchi, 11 Tanaka Chivanga

Plot and conditions

Harare Sports Club had batting-friendly pitches in all three games against Bangladesh, but with something for the fast pitchers in the morning due to early starts. Thursday is expected to be sunny and pleasant with a maximum temperature of 27 degrees Celsius.

Statistics and curiosities

  • Two players from the current India team made their ODI debut in Zimbabwe: Rahul and Yuzvendra Chahal. The two of them, Sanju Samson and Axar Patel, also made their T20I debut in Zimbabwe.
  • Quotes

    “It’s a beautiful format. It’s a balanced format where you have to know when to attack and when to defend. It’s not a rushed format, it’s about understanding when to attack and when to defend, both for batsmen and bowlers.” I really enjoy playing this format.”
    Vice-captain of India Shikhar Dhawan does not hide his love for the ODI

    Vishal Dikshit is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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