India will look to finish the pool stages of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 with a perfect six out of six wins when they go up against Zimbabwe in Auckland on Saturday.
The first four wins in the competition ensured a passage into the quarterfinals for India, with MS Dhoni's men then sealing top spot in Pool B courtesy the comfortable victory over Ireland on Tuesday.
Momentum is a big thing in World Cups, and India will not want that momentum quelled by Zimbabwe, who will look for a consolation victory before they make their way back home.
India already secured a new record for themselves in ODIs with ten wickets against Ireland making it the fifth consecutive time they have achieved that feat – all of it at this World Cup – and the bowlers will look to make it six games in a row to just extend that run further.
"It is a team that is bowling the opposition out frequently and that has been a big plus for India," said Zimbabwe coach Dav Wahtmore. "Their batting talent has never really been in question. What was needed was a good, strong bowling performance and they have done that."
Zimbabwe, apart from the desire to topple the world champions, will also want to put up a good performance for their long-time servant Brendan Taylor, who will not feature for his country at least for the next three years having signed a Kolpak deal with Nottinghamshire. The three-year contract with the English county means Taylor cannot play for Zimbabwe during that period.
"It's been an enjoyable 11 years that I have been extremely grateful for," said Taylor looking back at his quite impressive career. "Every player's dream is to represent their country, and I've been lucky enough to do that.
"Sad for me is that it'll be ending, but I'm very proud to be a Zimbabwean. I am very proud to represent my country on a great stage tomorrow to finish up and hopefully end on a high note."
Taylor already has a hundred to his name at this World Cup – against Ireland in that near- chase – and if there is any batsman that can really hurt the India bowlers, it is the wicketkeeper/batsman.
The India opening bowlers were put under the cosh for the first time by Ireland, but the spinners brought the game back in their favour brilliantly, showing just how well-rounded a bowling unit this has become.
Another complete bowling performance, and India will head into the quarterfinals in terrific mood.
"We all know what a powerhouse they are at batting but they certainly hold their own with the ball," added Taylor on India. "They have had proven performances with their spinners and we see how well they have done for India over the years.
"Even in conditions that are not so suited to them, they have been very difficult to get away. Their new ball bowlers have struck early, where they possibly haven't done that in the past.
"They are bowling with some good pace, too. It is certainly good for Indian cricket, and it will be very challenging for us -- not just the pace, but the swing they are producing at the moment. "
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India vs Zimbabwe is scheduled to begin at 2 pm local time (6.30 am IST, 1 am GMT, 8 pm ET) with live coverage in India on Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD1, Star Sports 3 and Star Sports HD3. The final Pool B match of India can also be watched via live streaming online on Star Sports Live Pro and Star Sports online.
Viewers in Zimbabwe and Sub Saharan Africa will be able to catch the match live on SuperSport while the action can ale be live streamed on SuperSport Online. Audience in the UK can watch the match live on Sky Sports, with the option to live stream on Sky Go and Watch Sky Sports. US viewers will be able to watch the game live on ESPN while the action can also be live streamed on ESPN Cricket.
Audience in Australia can catch all the action live on Fox Sports and Channel 9 or Foxtel and Cricket Australia Live. Viewers in New Zealand can catch the match live on Sky TV and Sky Go NZ. Audience watch the match live in the Middle East and North Africa will be able to do so on OSN and OSN Play.
Team news: India will stick to the same playing IX, barring any late injuries, while Zimbabwe will have to make do without their captain Elton Chigumbura for a second straight game, which means Taylor will bid adieu as playing as the skipper for the final time.
Expected lineups: India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (capt and wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav.
Zimbabwe: Chamu Chibhabha, Sikandar Raza, Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor (capt and wk), Sean Williams, Craig Ervine, Solomon Mire, Regis Chakabva, Tinashe Panyangara, Tawanda Mupariwa, Tendai Chatara.