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The second T20I between Zimbabwe and India turned out to be an embarrassing affair for the visitors. The Indians, for the first time in their T20I history as a side, lost to Zimbabwe. More than the actual defeat though, it will be the nature of defeat which will hurt Indians the most. Sikandar Raza, the stand in captain for Zimbabwe had no hesitation in batting first, and his side got to a decent 145 in the 20 overs. 146 was never supposed to be a headache for the Indians, but some dismal tactics from their batsmen turned an easy run chase into a humiliating loss.
The defeat will surely not go down too well with the Indians, who had an otherwise successful tour of Zimbabwe. The loss is bound to attract a lot of criticism in the days to come. In this article, we analyze the true cause of the defeat and highlight the three culprits behind India’s loss to Zimbabwe in the 2nd T20I.
1. Poor team selection:
At the toss, Ajinkya Rahane announced an absolutely shell shocking change in the team personnel. Harbhajan Singh, who had an exceptional tour of Zimbabwe so far, was suddenly “rested” for the second T20I. It really comes in as a shocker, that Harbhajan was “rested” and didn’t participate in a game where he just had to bowl four overs. But the worst part was that he was replaced by a batsman! From when did a spinner being replaced by a batsman make utter sense? In the first T20I, it had been Harbhajan who had struck for the visitors in the middle overs, but in the second game, he was just rested! If Samson was to be given a chance, then it should have been a batsman who should have been replaced. Replacing Kedar Jadhav with Samson would have made far more than he replacing Harbhajan! Hence, its only fair to assert that the BCCI management was the biggest culprit in this debacle.
2. M. Vijay:
Vijay had a mediocre ODI series despite a half century, and his outing in the second T20I was not worth appreciating as well. The biggest blunder by Vijay was his running between the wickets with Ajinkya Rahane. In the first over of India’s chase, there was complete miscommunication between Vijay and Rahane, as the latter stood stranded mid way on the wicket. Vijay first called Rahane for the run, and then suddenly asked him to go back. By the time Rahane could go back, it was way too late, and India’s captain was already on his way back to the pavilion. Post that, it was Vijay’s responsibility to ensure that India didn’t lose any wickets further at the top. But then, he too got out on a loose delivery.
3. Robin Uthappa:
Yes, Robin Uthappa is one of the culprits for India’s loss! Even though Uthappa did well and played a rapid knock of 42 off 25, he was the culprit in a big way. India had been rocked early by the dismissals of Rahane and Vijay. Uthappa though, was going all guns blazing and could have single handedly got India past the winning line. While there were wickets tumbling at the other end, Uthappa should have steered India through. Rather than that, he played a soft shot, and was dismissed caught and bowled. Earlier in the day, his wicketkeeping too had not been up to the mark. Plenty to ponder for Uthappa!