India were lucky to come away with a win in the 1st ODI against Zimbabwe on Friday, and now Ajinkya Rahane's we-want-to-prove-we-deserve-a-place-in-the-strongest-XI men will look for a more serene victory when the 2nd ODI comes to the party on Sunday.
Ambati Rayudu, Stuart Binny and some good final-over bowling from Bhuvneshwar Kumar were the reasons behind India just, only just, managing to pick up a four-run win over Zimbabwe, who nearly pulled off an upset after Elton Chigumbura scored an outstanding hundred under pressure.
While India will be relieved to come away with a victory, something they only managed to do in the final match against Bangladesh, after the series was over, Zimbabwe will take heart from their performance, while also knowing the visitors are very beatable.
India look beatable mainly due to their batting, which was poor, and then some, in the first one-day international in Harare.
At one point, India were 87/5, before a really good partnership between Rayudu and Binny took them to a decent score. It was a score that was quite chaseable, and had Zimbabwe kept more wickets intact towards the end, they would have got home comfortably, instead of falling short by a mere four runs.
"I thought the way we kept losing wickets, we didn't get the momentum we needed because we had to keep rebuilding," Chigumbura, who will be without medium-pacer Tinashe Panyangara for this second one-dayer, said. "We kept on trying to build a partnership but up to the end when I ended up batting with the specialist bowlers instead of a batsman, that's probably where we lost the game."
India also kept losing wickets in their innings, and one wonders how they would have coped had they been chasing. That calmness of Rayudu and Binny might have not been there in the pressure of a chase, and there is little doubt that this brittle India batting lineup, consisting of fringe players and Rahane, will be tested in the next couple of ODIs as well.
The toss could play a crucial role as well in this 2nd ODI, with the bowlers clearly having more of an advantage while bowling first. In the morning, the ball does seam and move around a lot more than later on in the afternoon.
So, winning the toss will be important for both sides.
"If we get a chance to bat up front again early in the morning it's crucial, with the Duke ball that does swing and seam a bit, that we've got to give the bowlers a lot more respect, compared to playing with the Kookaburra ball in other ODIs," Binny said.
"If you can get through the first 15 overs without losing more than a wicket or two, then we've got the firepower to get 300 in an ODI."
Where to Watch Live
Get 3rd ODI Score and Report HERE
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India vs Zimbabwe 2nd ODI Match is scheduled to begin at 9 am local time (12.30 pm IST, 8 am BST, 3 am ET). The match will be shown live in India on Ten Cricket and Ten HD, while all the action in the one-day international can also be watched via live streaming online on Ten Sports Live.
Viewers in the USA, who have been crazy enough to stay awake/wake-up for this 2nd ODI will be able to catch it on Willow TV, while the live stream option is on Willow TV Online.