One should never doubt the mettle of a team when it is being lead by none other than MS Dhoni. The maestro yet again proved during the first ODI against Zimbabwe why he is so good at this business.
India thumped Zimbabwe by nine wickets in the first ODI of the three-match series. Dhoni just utilised his resources to perfection and achieved the desired result at the end of the day.
KL Rahul and Ambati Rayudu were excellent in that partnership that helped India to register a massive victory over the host. Rahul also became the first batsman to score a century on Test and ODI debut for his nation.
The bowlers were no less as they did a commendable job as well.
If things go in the similar fashion, India are likely to seal the series when they face Zimbabwe in the second ODI at the same venue on Monday.
Let us take a look at how the game between India and Zimbabwe in Harare might go:
If Zimbabwe bat first: Peter Moor gets dismissed by Dhawal Kulkarni in the very first over. Hamilton Masakadza and Chamu Chibhaba somehow manage to add 30 more runs to the board in the next 10 overs. Dhoni decides to bring the spinners and they make the breakthrough. Yuzvendra picks up two in the same over. A late flourish from Elton Chigumbura help Zimbabwe reach a total of 156 for the loss of eight wickets at the end of 50 overs.
KL Rahul and Karun Nair read the conditions well and get off to a cautious start. The partnership slowly gets bigger and India need just 47 runs in 27 overs. Rahul goes onto score a half-century and continues with his good form with the bat. Nair, too, scored a fifty. The duo keep their wickets intact and reach the target comfortably.
If India bat first: Rahul and Nair start off well for India. While Rahul is being more cautious, Nair is ripping the Zimbabwean bowling apart. India reach 100 in just 12 overs and this partnership is threatening Zimbabwe. Skipper Graeme Cremer brings himself on and stumps Nair in that very over. Manish Pandey gets promoted to no. 3 and delivers for his captain. Unfortunately, in a terrible mix up Rahul gets run out. Pandey continues to bat with Ambati Rayudu. India reach a commendable total of 307 runs for the loss of four wickets.
Moor and Chibhabha try and get off to a fiery start but fail as Sran, Kulkarni and Bumrah are right on the money with their line and length. Zimbabwe are in all sorts of trouble and they need a partnership desperately. Chigumbura and Raza add some valuable runs to the score and take Zimbabwe beyond 200-run mark. Bumrah comes back and rattles Chigumbura and the other bowlers, along with him, run through the Zimbabwean batting order.