Harare: A rejuvenated India will have their nose ahead when they lock horns with Zimbabwe, left bruised and battered after a 10-wicket thrashing, in the series-deciding third and final Twenty20 International here tomorrow.
India entered the series on the back of a 3-0 whitewash of Zimbabwe in the preceding ODI series, but suffered a shocking two-run loss to the hosts in the opening T20 last Saturday.
The visitors got their act together in the second game yesterday and inflicted a crushing defeat on Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club. India stayed alive with a win in the second game and would now look to seal the issue in their favour with another convincing victory.
Led by veteran skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, this young Indian side would take heart from yesterday’s performances by Barinder Sran, Mandeep Singh, KL Rahul and also Jasprit Bumrah.
While young seamer Sran returned the best figures by an Indian on debut, Mandeep struck a fluent half century and Rahul too contributed handsomely to guide the team home with plenty of overs to spare.
Bumrah was a perfect ally for Sran, picking up three wickets. The knock was Mandeep’s maiden half century in this format.
The young Turks would like to have another good outing before heading home. The team lost its plot a bit in the first game and according to Mandeep, it stuck to basics in the second T20, and the result was there for all to see.
India will take confidence from the fact that this was their first 10-wicket win in a T20 international. The experienced campaigner that he is, Dhoni would however not take the beleaguered hosts lightly and advise his younger teammates to guard against complacency, irrespective of the margin of victory in the previous game.
2015 Kashmir Despatch