Following the second ODI victory against Zimbabwe India have clinched the series 2-0, but they will be eager to clean sweep the series, when these two teams once again meet for the third ODI at Harare on Tuesday.
India have come for the Zimbabwe tour for an ODI and T20 series with a strong looking squad as the selectors have given rest to some of the senior pros, hence allowing other players to impress and knock at the selectors doors. But these Indian players have not created a spark in the tournament to be taken note of.
India, currently led by Ajinkya Rahane nearly caused embarrassment in the first ODI as they managed to win the match by just four runs. It was a close encounter.
However, in the second ODI, the Indian team came up with a better performance with all their batsmen such as Rahane, Murli Vijay, Ambati Rayudu scoring some crucial runs. Even Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled well to take four wickets in the match and India won the second ODI by 62 runs.
But the series has not been special for some players such as Robin Uthappa, Harbhajan Singh, Dhawal Kulkarni amongst others. These players have a chance to impress in the fifty over format for one last time in the series on Tuesday.
There were hopes from Uthappa after a decent IPL and a good domestic season, but the player failed to live up to the expectations with scores of 0 and 13 in the series. Though the series might have been won by India, Uthappa will be eager to sign off the ODI series on a high.
Harbhajan Singh and Kulkarani also could be thinking of making an impact in the ODI series, else their contribution in the series has not been something to write home about.
It is not going to be easy against this Zimbabwe side, who might have been disappointed with the result of the first ODI, which they could have won as well. Hence, Zimbabwe will want to finish off the series with a respectable 2-1 series and not an embarrassing 3-0 loss that too at home against a second string India side.
Elton Chigumbara, Zimbabwe's skipper, will need to play another important knock against India in the third ODI in order to have any chance of winning at least a single match in the series.
Third ODI schedule
Venue - Harare Sports Club
Date – 14 July
Time - 9 am local time (12.30 pm IST, 8 am BST, 3 am ET)
India: Ajinkya Rahane (C), Ambati Rayudu, Manoj Tiwary, Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Harbhajan Singh, Axar Patel, Karn Sharma, Dhawal Kulkarni, Stuart Binny, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma and Mohit Sharma.
Zimbabwe: Elton Chigumbura (C), Sikandar Raza Butt, Regis Chakabva, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Graeme Cremer, Neville Madziva, Hamilton Masakadza, Richmond Mutumbami, Tinashe Panyangara, Vusimuzi Sibanda, Donald Tiripano, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori, Malcolm Waller and Sean Williams.