Indians aim to continue dominance, Zimbabwe seek revival
An expectedly comfortable win to start with, the young Indian team under Virat Kohli would look to continue asserting its supremacy over minnows Zimbabwe when the two sides clash in the second one-dayer of the ongoing five-match series in Harare on Friday.
In a perfect start to the tour, India thrashed Zimbabwe by six wickets with Kohli leading from the front, scoring a hundred.
But the win was not without a few glitches with the inexperience of Indian bowlers exploited by a couple of Zimbabwean batsmen.
Sikander Raza nearly got a hundred while lower down the order Elton Chigumbura managed to torment the Indians for quite a while with a 34-ball 43 which included half a dozen boundaries.
Rohit Sharma had a bad day
In fact, India's lead pacer R Vinay Kumar ended up conceding at a rate more than six in his nine overs. But on the brighter side, the rest of the attack made up for his off day with spinner Amit Mishra picking up three wickets in his 10 overs.
The Zimbabwean batsmen did not exactly disgrace themselves and posted a decent total which was, however, no match to the sheer individual brilliance of Kohli.
Among others, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan had a bad day but they too should get some big scores in the series which has been described as being terribly lopsided despite India being a depleted team.
Kohli's was a swashbuckling knock
Another positive to emerge for India apart from Kohli's swashbuckling knock, was the half-century by debutant Ambati Rayudu.
A veteran of first-class cricket, Rayudu finally got his ODI break on Wednesday and delivered well with a calculated 63-run knock.
If he can continue in the same vein in the coming games, the 27-year-old's confidence would certainly head northwards.
It would be interesting to see whether the Indians stick to the same line-up or try out the likes of batsman Cheteshwar Pujara and spinner Parveez Rasool.
Home team can create some unease for the Indians
For the Zimbabweans, Raza and Chigumbura showed that application and patience can make the home team a lot more competitive than many would perceive it to be.
The home team played its full 50 overs, was not all out at the end of it all and did expose some chinks in the Indian bowling attack's armoury.
But their own bowling left a lot to be desired although it is difficult to control an on-song Kohli even for the best of attacks.
Prosper Utseya was the lone bowler to make an impact with two wickets in his 10 overs. With a better understanding of conditions, the Zimbabwean bowlers would be expected to produce a better effort, the one in which they at least manage to create some unease for the Indians.