Rampaging India take on listless Zimbabwe in 2nd ODI
A resounding opening win setting the tone perfectly for them, the new-look Indian cricket team will look to continue in the same vein and take another step towards a potential whitewash of Zimbabwe when the two sides clash in the second cricket ODI here tomorrow.
It was a clinical display by India as they outclassed Zimbabwe in all departments in a lop-sided opener of the three-ODI series and Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men will eye another fine outing on Monday.
If it was young seamer Jasprit Bumrah, who shone with the ball with a four-wicket haul to shoot out the hosts for a modest 168, opener Lokesh Rahul helped the team chase down the target with an unbeaten century on his debut ODI.
Rahul, who will also be boarding the flight to West Indies for the Test series in August, will look to accumulate as many runs as possible to boost his confidence ahead of the series.
Ambati Rayudu too did his job perfectly, playing second fiddle to Rahul with an unbeaten 120-ball 62 which was studded with five boundaries.
The innings must have helped him regain his confidence, especially after being dropped from the team following the home series against South Africa last year and he will look to continue the good work.
In the past, India have registered back-to-back whitewashes against Zimbabwe -- 5-0 and 3-0 in 2013 and 2015 respectively. Dhoni's men will eye another clean-sweep and would look to take another step in that direction tomorrow.
In the bowling department, India have shown discipline with all the five bowlers figuring among the wickets. If Dhawal Kulkarni and Barinder Sran scalped two wickets each, spinners Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal too picked up a wicket each and were economical too to help their team.
Given that India won by nine wickets, it means the middle-order didn't get a chance to spend time on the crease and prove their worth and they would be itching to grab their chances with both hands.
Someone like Manish Pandey, who had scored his maiden ODI century against Australia in the fifth match in January, will be waiting for his chance to impress the selectors and stake claim to Suresh Raina's place when India will be playing their real first XI in future.
Karun Nair too will look to show that he is not just an IPL player and has the ability to score in international cricket as well.