An expected win but not as a No.1 side
As always predicted that batting first at Harare was pretty difficult, it proved the same when Zimbabwe won the toss and forced India to bat first. The Zimbabwe seamers knew that they had a chance of humiliating the strong batting line up of India. They almost succeeded at that as they took four out of the top 5 with some class bowling during the start of the innings. They could have got the other opener, Shikhar Dhawan, also if Kyle Jarvis had not overstepped reeling India into more trouble. A clearly rattled Jarvis no-balled once again on the Free Hit delivery, and before the over was up had leaked a whopping 15 runs. That was an example to show how the Zimbabwe players lacked experience at an International level. If they had controlled the wides and no-balls and a lot of balls down the leg side, they could have easily bundled up the Indian side.Rohit Sharma slipped one of the bowling of Vitori showing the Indians how the pitch worked.
After that the last match centurion, Virat Kohli, was given out which is bound to be a controversial one. Waller claimed the catch, but Kohli wasn’t going anywhere and Umpire Oxenford asked for a television replay. From the front-on replay, there seemed to be some doubt as to whether the catch was taken - though that they may have been the effect of foreshortening. From the rear angle, it looked clean and so Oxenford sent Kohli on his way, but the Indian captain was far from happy. Soon the Rayudus and Rainas found their way back playing some cheap shots. If Raina doesnt bat well this series his place in the side will be taken for grabs. Then came Dinesh Karthik, who was in need of some runs to stay in the side. Dhawan and himself helped India by building a partnership when India was reeling at 65/4. Though Dhawan had a lot of lives as two catches of him were dropped during that partnership.After 40 overs, India’s score read 220. So 300 runs was on the cards at that time but soon the Indian batting collapse took place and India were in a state as 270 itself was becoming difficult. A last minute cameo from Vinay Kumar helped India to reach 294 but sure it was a struggling one.
Zimbabwe openers looked good against the weak Indian bowling. There are no wicket taking bowlers at the start in this bowling side. So it was easy picking for the batsmen. The much expected Raza was the first victim playing an expensive shot. Though Sibanda looked good, he was in no mood to stay longer throwing away a good start as always.Soon after the introduction of spin, the scorecard which read 2/109 soon became 6/133 showing the lack of batsmen to play quality spin. The only positive with the bat came from the partnership between Chigumbura and Utseya which was worth 90 runs but couldnt stop the defeat as required run rate was above 11, atleast reduced the margin of defeat. Though the Indians won the match convincingly by 58 runs it does not prove they played but the Zimbabwe did not show character.