The second T20I between Zimbabwe and India turned out to be a thrilling affair as the hosts managed to choke out the Indians. India ended its otherwise successful tour on a sour note, as the Zimbabwean bowlers, assisted by efficient fielding won the second T20I by 10 runs. Batting first, the hosts managed to get to a decent score of 145-7 in their 20 overs. Axar Patel was once again phenomenal with the ball as he struck once and was economical.
The Zimbabwean bowling however, was better on the day. Ajinkya Rahane was run out in the first over as there was terrible confusion between him and M. Vijay. Uthappa looked good while he lasted, but his dismissal triggered another collapse. The Indian middle order then collapsed like a pack of cards. In the end, India lost 9 wickets as Zimbabwe won the game by 10 runs.
Thereby, we go through the report card of the Indians for the second T20I:
1. Ajinkya Rahane (1.5/10):
Rahane was once again criminal in throwing it away early as he was involved in a horrible run out. The tour of Zimbabwe for Rahane as a captain was a fruitful experience. However, as a batsman, he had an ordinary tour and the numbers he raked up don’t justify his talent. He surely would have loved to end the tour on a high, but that was not to be.
2. M. Vijay (1.5/10):
Like Rahane, Vijay too had a terrible outing in the second T20I. He hit one glorious six, but the way he was dismissed, it was nothing more than disappointment. Vijay was castled while trying to pull, on a ball pitched on the shorter side. This outing will also be counted as a wasted opportunity for Vijay as he failed to get among the runs.
3. Robin Uthappa (7/10):
The T20I series overall was a productive outing for Robin Uthappa as he got among the runs in both the games. However, he will be utterly disappointed after throwing it away in the second game after being well set. Uthappa looked fluent throughout his knock and played some attractive strokes. However, he was dismissed softly when he should have carried on.
4. Manish Pandey (1/10):
Manish Pandey was surely the unluckiest man in Harare today. The Karnataka batsman got a pathetic decision as the ball was clearly sliding down the leg slide. It was a day which Pandey would quickly want to forget.
5. Kedar Jadhav (1.5/10):
Lazy was probably the only word to describe Jadhav’s running today. It was due to his slow running, that he was dismissed pretty soon. The required run rate wasn’t too high when Jadhav came, and he could have easily got himself in, before going for the kill. But a poor run out cut short his array in the middle.
6. Stuart Binny (7/10):
Another game, and yet another productive outing for Binny. Binny struck with the ball, and also was among the runs. Nevertheless, his luck ran short when his catch was taken exceptionally. Binny hit a couple of boundaries, and could have won the game for India, had that outstanding catch not been taken.
7. Sanju Samson (4/10):
It was a reasonably forgettable debut for Sanju Samson as he struggled to get going towards the end of India’s innings. Samson, considering his talent should have finished it off for India, but it was not to be. It would be unfair to blame Samson, as he was sent pretty late in the batting order. That was one blunder made by the Indian management.
8. Axar Patel (7.5/10):
Axar Patel again had a positive day as he struck with the ball and was economical. He has proved himself on this tour, and the second T20I was no different. He has matured as a bowler and he can be relied upon. His batting though needs to be addressed as he definitely can improve. A bright future in all awaits this talented lad.
9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (8/10):
Kumar was just too good in the death overs for India as he executed the yorkers perfectly. He got a couple of wickets, and both were on the yorkers. There was no doubt over his skills with the new ball, but now, his death bowling skills are an added benefit.
10. Mohit Sharma (7/10):
Mohit got among the wickets towards the end of the Zimbabwe innings, but the wickets he got were like gifts, rather than actually earning them. Nonetheless, he was rewarded for his accuracy. His death bowling skills too are a boon for the Indian side.
11. Sandeep Sharma (5.5/10):
Sandeep Sharma finally got his first international wicket, but he was very costly. He went at almost 10 runs per over and had no control over his wild outswingers. He got the wicket on an excellent delivery. Sharma needs to be groomed well, in order to succeed at the highest level.