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Zimbabwe vs India: 5 Players From Zimbabwe To Watch Out For

Here are 5 Zimbabwean players who may catch the KL Rahul-led Indian side by surprise in the upcoming ODI series.

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Edited By :Karan Mahadik

Having defeated West Indies fairly comfortably, India will now take on Zimbabwe in a three-match ODI series starting 18 August. More than a substantial challenge, this series is expected to be a platform for many players to showcase their calibre and subsequently confirm their place in the Indian ODI set-up, at least for the next ODI series against South Africa.

With big stars like skipper Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Jasprit Bumrah not being a part of the contingent that has arrived in Harare, Zimbabwe will have an opportunity to stun a team ranked ten places higher than them in the ICC ODI men’s team rankings.

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Despite dealing with multiple injury-related absentees themselves, the Chevrons defeated a comparatively stronger team, Bangladesh, in their previous ODI expedition.

Ranked 12th in the 2020-23 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League standings, direct qualification for the next World Cup seems to be a distant dream. Having said that, David Houghton’s boys will certainly fancy punching above their weights once again.

Check out the five Zimbabwean players India should watch out for:

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1. Sikandar Raza

Here are 5 Zimbabwean players who may catch the KL Rahul-led Indian side by surprise in the upcoming ODI series.

Sikandar Raza is the backbone of the Zimbabwean batting order.

(Photo: IANS)

Sikandar Raza's batting is ageing like fine wine. Currently 36 years of age, he is still a pillar in Zimbabwe’s batting order while also being a useful contributor with his off-spin. In 117 ODI matches, Raza has scored 3,483 runs, with an average of 37.05 highlighting his consistency.

As for his bowling, the Sialkot-born player has scalped 68 wickets in this format of the game. Besides his career statistics, his recent run of form also makes him a potent threat. In the recently concluded ODI series against Bangladesh, Raza was both the leading run-scorer and leading wicket-taker for his side, having scored 252 runs and picked up five wickets.

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2. Regis Chakabva

Regis Chakabva will be leading the team because of Craig Williams’ absence. How ‘Chakabva the skipper’ performs remains to be seen, but Zimbabwean fans can expect good things from ‘Chakabva the batter.’

With only 1,057 runs in 55 matches at an average of 21.57, the wicketkeeper-batter’s career ODI statistics are not out of the ordinary. However, like Raza, he is going through a purple patch. His last ODI match saw the 34-year-old scoring a century against the Tigers.

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3. Innocent Kaia

Innocent Kaia is among the latest of late bloomers in international cricket. It was not until June of this year that he made his ODI debut, but the batter is already 30 years of age.

Despite that, his recent performances prove why he still has a lot to offer to Zimbabwean cricket. In the series against Bangladesh, he scored 127 runs in three matches at an average of 42.33.

Here are 5 Zimbabwean players who may catch the KL Rahul-led Indian side by surprise in the upcoming ODI series.

'Late bloomer' Innocent Kaia performed well against Bangladesh.

(Photo: Twitter/Altered by The Quint)

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4. Wessly Madhevere

At the opposite end of the age spectrum is Wessly Madhevere, who has already played 20 ODI matches at the tender age of 21. Madhevere is among those players who do perfect justice to the term ‘utility cricketer.’

The Harare-born player has scored 404 runs in this format, with his average being north of 20; with his tricky off-spin, Madhevere has also scalped nine wickets while conceding less than five runs per over.

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5. Ryan Burl

Here are 5 Zimbabwean players who may catch the KL Rahul-led Indian side by surprise in the upcoming ODI series.

Ryan Burl has contributed to every department.

(Photo Courtesy: Ryan Burl/Twitter)

The current Zimbabwe squad has a host of ‘jack of all trades’ players, who might not be particularly flamboyant and exemplary in one aspect of the game but are good players to have in the squad with their all-round abilities.

One such player of Madhevere’s mould is Ryan Burl, the 28-year-old all-rounder from Marondera. He has accumulated 436 runs in his 28 ODI appearances for the national team, while also picking up nine wickets with his leg-break bowling.

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