India will be wounded after their surprising defeat to Zimbabwe in the first of the three-match T20 series. MS Dhoni and his team will only have one thing in their minds – win the next two matches, and clinch the rubber. As of now, India need to focus on the second T20 as they are set for an important clash in Harare on Monday.
On paper, India, despite missing their senior players, are a strong team compared to Zimbabwe, who shocked the Men in Blue with their all-round cricket in the first encounter. India batsmen need to make sure that they carry on and get big scores after getting their eye in, which was not the case in the first T20.
Most of the batsmen lost their wickets after getting off to a decent start, which is just not good enough at the international level. They need to carry their bat through and take the team to victory, like Virat Kohli has been doing in the last couple of years for India. Manish Pandey top-scored with a 35-ball 48, but he needed to shoulder more responsibility in the middle order.
Not only did India's batsmen look unimpressive, the bowlers also did not stick to their jobs. Javed Unadkat and Rishi Dhawan, after warming the bench in the ODI series, were given a chance in the first T20, but they disappointed, giving away more than 10 runs per over in their quota of four. To be fair, the Zimbabwe batsmen also looked better in the shorter format.
After a cruising in the ODIs, the India youngsters were tested for the first time, and they failed to deliver in a tight encounter. One hopes that the young India cricketers must have learnt enough from their defeat to prove their mettle in the second T20I.
"I feel, though we lost the game - it is disappointing - it is still a learning curve for the youngsters, provided they are learning out of it," PTI quoted Dhoni as saying.
"You have to take it in a serious manner because whenever you will represent the country, whenever they get a chance to be part of the proper Indian team for a consistent period of time, they will feel the pressure. That will be the time when a game like this or a tour like this will really help them ease out that pressure."
To get a win, India need to get their team combinations right. Barinder Sran and Dhawal Kulkarni could replace Unadkat and Dhawan in the bowling department to strengthen the pace unit.
On the other hand, Zimbabwe, all of a sudden, have got their mojo back, and will be high on confidence after their brilliant win, where all their batsmen and bowlers performed and contributed. But, they are fully aware of the need to lift their performance even more as India will come hard at them.
The African nation looked good when India played their last T20 series in Zimbabwe, which was led by Ajinkya Rahane. Zimbabwe drew the series 1-1, and they will be keen to go one better.
Zimbabwe have the ammunition to deliver back-to-back wins, but it remains to be seen if they can come up with a repeat performance in the second T20. They need their big guns -- Hamilton Masakadza, Elton Chigumbura, Chamu Chibhabha – to fire, and create history.
Where to watch live
India vs Zimbabwe 2nd T20
Venue: Harare Sports Club
Date: June 20, 2016
Time: 1 p.m. local time, 4.30 p.m. IST, 12 p.m. BST, 7 a.m. ET
India vs Zimbabwe 2nd T20 live streaming and TV information.
India: TV: Ten 3 and Ten 1 HD. Live Streaming: Ten Sports Live.
USA: TV: Willow TV. Live Streaming: Willow TV Online.
South Afirca and Sub Saharan Africa: TV: SuperSport. Live Streaming: SuperSport Live Video.