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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Preview: Zimbabwe vs India - 1st ODI : India Tour Zimbabwe-2013


Match 1 of the five-game bilateral ODI series between Zimbabwe and India


July 24, 2013, Wednesday


Harare Sports Club, Harare, Zimbabwe



The hosts enjoyed significant success recently against Bangladesh, winning the ODI series and drawing the T20I and Test series. They will now be keen to test their skills against a stronger, albeit a young, Indian side. Zimbabwe were set to chase down competitive totals in two ODIs versus Bangladesh, and their batting line-up delivered in both those games. They would likely persist with more or less the same batsmen this series, while their bowlers will fight for the available spots. (Also Read: India Squad for Zimbabwe Tour 2013)


Although the opposition is not intimidating, there is much to look forward to in this series for those concerned with Indian cricket. The big pool of youngsters in the squad might just give us a sneak peek into India’s ODI future. Even Virat Kohli will get another chance to press his claim as MS Dhoni’s successor to the captaincy throne. With as many as six places up for grabs, the next generation of Indian cricketers will be keen to stake a claim on them and make a mark at the international level. (Also Read: India tour of Zimbabwe-2013 Schedule & Fixtures)

Key players


Opener Vusi Sibanda was the batting star of Zimbabwe’s ODI series win over Bangladesh with a century and a 49. A continuation of form against the fresh stock of Indian pacers will further enhance his confidence and reputation. Also, all eyes will be on Pakistani-born rookie batsman Sikandar Raza, who is likely to get some good exposure against India in the series.


Cheteshwar Pujara has been raking up runs in Test cricket, thereby making a solid case for a spot in the playing XI here. However, the classical top-order batsman has had some convincing to do with regards to his limited-overs prowess, and his recurring injuries have not helped his cause. Finally, he has got a chance to show the attacking side of his batting as he is likely to make his ODI debut in Zimbabwe. With a List A average of nearly 57, his credentials are beyond doubt. Expect him to grab the opportunity for which he has been waiting for a long time.

Form guide

(most recent first, last five completed games)
Zimbabwe WWLLL

Pitch and conditions

Winters in Zimbabwe are cold and dry and usually the pitches reflect this, favouring spin over seam and playing a little on the slow side. The track for Wednesday's game has been very well watered, however, and the groundstaff have left some grass on it to negate the potential for drying and crumbling. New ball bowlers may well profit in the first hour, with the games due to start somewhat early at 9am, but the wicket should have the pace to allow for shot-making.

Stats and trivia
  • Despite some notable successes, such as at the 1999 World Cup, Zimbabwe have only beaten India in 10 out of the 51 ODIs they've played against them since 1983.
  • The first obstacle for Zimbabwe's bowlers in a daunting Indian batting line-up will be the opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, who average 57.72 in partnership and have put together three century stands.
  • Of Zimbabwe's current batsmen, captain Brendan Taylor has by far the best record against India in ODIs, with 184 runs at 46 against them in four games.


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