India look to complete clean sweep
Harare: After a 3-0 ODI whitewash and a win in the first T20 International, India would be looking to continue their dominance and complete the clean sweep when they take on a hapless Zimbabwe in the second and final T20 International cricket match here on Sunday.
Despite showing an initial spark in the first one-dayer, Zimbabwe quickly fizzled out against India. Sunday’s match will be their last chance to get their act together and go for a consolation victory in front of their home crowd.
But it would certainly be an uphill task for the hosts to lift themselves up and go all guns blazing against a confident Indian side, who in turn would be eyeing to end their campaign on a high.
Zimbabwe will have to play out of their skins and latch on to their chances, which they have missed so far in the tournament, in order to topple India.
The Indians have hardly any concerns as every member of the side has chipped in with useful contributions till now.
Although India fielded a second-string team, they had little trouble overpowering the Zimbabweans.
Even the injury to in-form batsman Ambati Rayudu, who won the Man of the Series award for his performance in the ODIs, had little impact as his replacement Manish Pandey came good on debut itself with a 71-run knock in the third ODI.
In fact, India fielded as many as five T20 international debutants in the previous game but their experience of playing in Indian Premier League made the transition look like a cake walk.
Come tomorrow, the Indians would be aiming to be a lot more aggressive with their bats though.
In the last match, India were cruising smoothly at 123 for two in 15 overs and it looked as if they would reach the 200-run mark comfortably, but medium-pacer Chris Mpofu took three quick wickets to arrest the visitors’ run flow and restrict them to 178 for five.
The Indian batsmen, therefore, would not be taking things lightly against the home bowlers, who did a decent job even in the ODIs as well.
It would be up to the opening duo of skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Murali Vijay to give India a solid start, followed by previous tie’s highest scorer Robin Uthappa, who remained unbeaten on 39 to take the team to a competitive total.