India XI:

Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Ambati Rayudu, Manoj Tiwary, Robin Uthappa (WK), Kedar Jhadhav, Stuart Binny, Harbhajan Singh, Axar Patel, Dhawal Kulkarni, Bhuvneshwar Kumar. 

Zimbabwe XI:

Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Vusimuzi Sibanda, Hamilton Masakadza, Sikandar Raza Butt, Sean Williams, Elton Chingummbura (c), Graeme Creamer, Richmond Mutumbami (wk), Donal Tripiano, Brian Vitori, Neville Madziva

After wining a last ball thriller over the hosts, India will be facing a spirited Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club for the 2nd ODI of the three match series. Thanks to Ambati Rayudu’s career best unbeaten 124 and Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s impeccable death bowling, India managed to pull out a narrow win and took a 1-0 lead in the series.

During India’s batting, their top order consisting of players like skipper Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Kedhar Jadhav failed to mane any substantial contribution to the team total. If Rayudu and Stuart Binny, coming at number seven would not have steadied the innings then another disgraceful defeat was in the plate for India. The visitors have to quickly fix their middle order woes before they take the field on Sunday. As for now a dysfunctional middle order remains a serious liability for the team. In this match also, as it seems Rahane, Rayudu and Binny will have to take the responsibility of the batting as much cannot be expected from the others, who seemed to clearly struggling against some fine bowling from the home side.

Speaking of their bowling, Bhuvneshwar turned out to be the pick of the bowlers. He defended 10 runs in the final over owing to his exceptional death bowling skills. His pace partner, Dhawal Kulkarni too bowled impressively, especially towards the end as things got really tense. They were complemented by the medium pace of Binny, and the spin duo of Harbhajan Singh and Axar Patel. The spinners were widely effective against the Zimbabwean batsmen as they managed to restrict runs and take wickets at crucial points. As a bowling unit, they will once again be required to step up to the cause.

The Zimbabwean bowlers started the match on a promising note as they were able to reduce India to 87/5 but were denied futhur success by Rayudu and Binny’s dauntless act. In their batting too, their skipper Elton Chigumbura’s gritty knock of 104* nearly put the match in the home sides’s favor but fell short of the desired target as he did not get any match winning support from the other end. The home side will be ready to put up their brave and spirited fight in the second match and will be looking forward to level the series whereas the Indians will be egging on to take an unassailable lead of 2-0 by winning the match.

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