As the Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura opted to bowl first winning the toss, their bowlers are the first to enjoy the cushion provided by a change in the rules of ODI cricket.
As per the new rules the batting power play had been abolished and five fielders outside the circle in the final 10 overs.
In first 10 over only two players will be allowed field outside the circle, and in the second powerplay between 11 and 40 overs another two players will be allowed to filed outside the cricle, and in the final ten over one more player will be allowed to filed outside the circle.
So the Indian team shorn of first-choice player, who tally 1116 matches between them, will have take on early morning conditions in Harare, where the ball can hoop around. Ajinkya Rahane, who was dropped the last time India played an ODI returns as captain, and has been listed at the top of the order. M Vijay, who has built himself an excellent reputation as a Test opener, is playing as an opener.
Manoj Tiwary, who has played only nine ODIs since his debut in 2008 the last of which was in 2014, finds a place in the middle order along with Robin Uthappa who conforms to India’s preference of a batsman-wicketkeeper. The seam-bowling attack will be led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, while Harbhajan Singh makes a comeback to ODIs since June 2011.
Zimbabwe have got a promising legspinner in Graeme Cremer and have brought back Donald Tiripano to take the place of the injured Tendai Chatara.
But batting is their stronger suit. Since the start of the year, they’ve put up a total in excess of 270 six out of eight completed matches.