Zimbabwe Tour: In Today’s Series Decider, India Has the Edge

Led by veteran skipper MS Dhoni,the young Turks would like to have another good outing before heading home.

Updated22 Jun 2016, 01:35 AM IST
Sports
3 min read

A rejuvenated India will have their nose ahead when they lock horns with Zimbabwe in the series-deciding third and final Twenty20 International here tomorrow.

India entered the series on the back of a 3-0 whitewash of Zimbabwe in the preceding ODI series, but suffered a shocking two-run loss to the hosts in the opening T20 last Saturday.

The visitors got their act together in the second game yesterday and inflicted a crushing defeat on Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club.

Zimbabwean captain Graeme Creamer, left, shakes hands with Indian captain MS Dhoni after the toss. (Photo: AP)
Zimbabwean captain Graeme Creamer, left, shakes hands with Indian captain MS Dhoni after the toss. (Photo: AP)

Led by veteran skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, this young Indian side would take heart from yesterday’s performances by Barinder Sran, Mandeep Singh, KL Rahul and also Jasprit Bumrah.

While young seamer Sran returned the best figures by an Indian on debut, Mandeep struck a fluent half century and Rahul too contributed handsomely to guide the team home with plenty of overs to spare. Bumrah was a perfect ally for Sran, picking up three wickets. The knock was Mandeep’s maiden half century in this format.

Indian batsman MS Dhoni, left, dives to avoid a run out during the T20 International cricket match against Zimbabwe. (Photo: AP)
Indian batsman MS Dhoni, left, dives to avoid a run out during the T20 International cricket match against Zimbabwe. (Photo: AP)

The young Turks would like to have another good outing before heading home. The team lost its plot a bit in the first game and according to Mandeep, it stuck to basics in the second T20, and the result was there for all to see. India will take confidence from the fact that this was their first 10-wicket win in a T20 international.

The experienced campaigner that he is, Dhoni would however not take the beleaguered hosts lightly and advise his younger teammates to guard against complacency, irrespective of the margin of victory in the previous game.

I emphasised we needed to run hard, push the fielders and in a shorter format it’s always important to sneak in those quick runs.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
 Zimbabwean players and their coach, Makhaya Ntini, second right, celebrate winning the T20 International cricket match against India at Harare Sports Club. (Photo: AP)
Zimbabwean players and their coach, Makhaya Ntini, second right, celebrate winning the T20 International cricket match against India at Harare Sports Club. (Photo: AP)

As far as Graeme Cremer’s Zimbabwe is concerned, they would hope to end what was a forgettable series for them on a positive note. Skipper Cremer spoke about the side losing wickets at regular intervals.

We started well but we lost wickets at regular intervals, just couldn’t get going. It was disappointing, we thought the pitch misbehaved a bit but getting all out for 99 isn’t good enough. We still have one more game to go

If Zimbabwe are to give India a tough fight, the likes of Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza, Sikandar Raza, E Chigumbura and Malcolm Waller will have to fire with the bat in unison, and then hope the bowlers put up a good show.

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Published: 21 Jun 2016, 04:00 PM IST

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