India completed the whitewash of Zimbabwe in grand style as the men in blue defeated the hosts by 83 runs. By the virtue of winning the third ODI, India has won the series 3-0. The Indians once again batted first, but were jolted early as their openers departed soon. Robin Uthappa looked well set, but he too couldn’t make it large. Debutant Manish Pandey had a memorable debut as he played an exceptional knock of 71 under pressure. But the man who stole the show was Kedar Jadhav, who changed gears rapidly as he got to his ton in the last over. The Zimbabweans never looked like chasing the target and eventually fell 83 runs short of the Indian total.
We now go through the report card of the Indians for the third ODI.
1. Ajinkya Rahane (2/10):
Rahane had a perfect opportunity ahead of him to make a mark. But Rahane messed it up as he was dismissed for 15. Rahane should have got himself in rather than playing a soft shot. A big knock in the third ODI could have done Rahane’s confidence a world of good.
2. M. Vijay (3/10):
Vijay has performed with the bat just like his opening partner Ajinkya Rahane. In the first and the third ODI, both failed, while they did well in the second ODI. Vijay had a poor outing with the bat as he was caught behind while trying to fidget with the ball outside the off stump. Vijay though, took the crucial wicket of Elton Chigumbura which helped the visitors big time.
3. Robin Uthappa (4/10):
Uthappa did all the hard work with the bat, but just when he was looking good, he gave it away. Uthappa was well set on 31, and had rotated the strike really well, before he got a leading edge on the bowling of Masakadza. This was an ideal opportunity for Uthappa as he had a lot of time. But unfortunately, it will be counted as a wasted opportunity.
4. Manoj Tiwary (1/10):
Tiwary has been the biggest disappointment for India in the entire series. Like the first two ODI’s, the third ODI too had a failure in store for the Bengal batsman. Tiwary couldn’t get going at all and struggled miserably. He was dismissed for 10, after playing 33 deliveries. This surely has been a horrendous series for the talented batsman.
5. Manish Pandey (9/10):
Pandey couldn’t have asked for a better debut! The Karnataka lad finally got his India cap, after waiting in line for years. Gladly, Pandey accepted the opportunity with open arms and played a brilliant knock on debut. Pandey scored 71 off 86, and it was his knock which enabled Kedar Jadhav to settle. This has to be one of the finest knocks on debut by a batsman. Pandey ensured that a bright future awaits him.
6. Kedar Jadhav (9.5/10):
Jadhav finally justified the talent which he possessed. The Maharashtra batsman was simply fantastic in the third ODI as he got India to a healthy total from a position of misery. Jadhav got to his ton in the last over of the innings with a six. Jadhav remained not out on 105 off 87. The way he accelerated towards the end, it was worth sheer appreciation. One could not expect more from Jadhav, who was simply brilliant.
7. Stuart Binny (8.5/10):
Binny once again staked a really strong claim for the all rounder’s slot with another power packed performance. Binny didn’t get too many deliveries to bat, but made 18 off 8. From the bowling front picked up 3 wickets as he was critical in denting the Zimbabwean chase. Binny has had a wonderful tour of Zimbabwe and that will reflect on his CV.
8. Harbhajan Singh (8.5/10):
Another game and yet another stellar performance from Harbhajan Singh! Harbhajan picked up a couple of wickets and was even on a hattrick. Bhajji gave away just 35 runs in his ten overs and was very economical. This was supposed to be a comeback series for him, and like a fairy tale, he had a memorable series.
9. Axar Patel (8.5/10):
Like Bhajji, Axar Patel too had a memorable series with the ball. Patel picked up a couple of wickets again and the Zimbabweans found it difficult to score of him. Considering his performances against Zimbabwe, he might have done enough to displace Ravindra Jadeja from his spot in the XI.
10. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (8/10):
Kumar might not have got a wicket, but he was completely intimidating. He made the ball talk and his economical spell at the top was enough to ensure that Zimbabwe got off to a sluggish start. As a whole, Kumar too had a fantastic series as he seemed to be near his best.
11. Mohit Sharma (8.5/10):
This was Mohit’s only game of the series and he did well as he picked up a couple of wickets. Sharma looked impressive with the ball in his hand and would be glad that he had a good performance under his belt after a horrible game in Bangladesh.