Zim out to level ODI series


HARARE – The Zimbabwe cricket side will be hoping to win today’s Killer Cup ODI match against India at Harare Sports Club in order to keep the three-match series alive.

The hosts suffered a nine-wicket loss to the youthful India side in the first match of the series on Saturday.

India dominated in all the departments as they played like seasoned campaigners while Zimbabwe easily cowed into submission.

Debutant KL Raul was the toast of Indian batsmen with a maiden century from just 115 balls while senior batsman Ambati Rayudu complemented the youngster well on the crease with an unbeaten half century.

Zimbabwe batting coach Lance Klusener hopes the team will strike a winning formula in today’s encounter and level the series.

“… There’s no doubt the talent is there, it’s a matter of finding a game plan, a niche for everybody on how they want to play and from the team point of view, we are not happy with the way we played (on Saturday),” Klusener said.

Team captain Graeme Cremer also thinks the team were a pale shadow of a competitive unit they can be.

“… We know we are much better than that and we can hopefully win the next game to make the third ODI a final,” Cremer said.

The locals are playing in only their first competitive series since the disastrous outing at the ICC World T20 in India at the start of this year where they were knocked out of the tournament in the qualifying stage by minnows Afghanistan.

Most of the India players in this tour took part in the lucrative IPL and Rahul has continued with his rich vein of form into this series.

“… I have just come from a good IPL and have carried the same momentum and the confidence into this game. … it’s great for me to score a hundred and also get it in your first ODI match, it’s something special,” Rahul said.

His captain MS Dhoni believes they are on the right track.

“… A win first up is important in a three-game series,” said Dhoni.

Both teams might look to get into today’s matches unchanged for continuity purposes.

Zimbabwe ODI and T20 Squads: Graeme Cremer (Captain), Richmond Mutumbami (Wicketkeeper), Taurai Muzarabani, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Peter Joseph Moor, Elton Chigumbura, Vusimuzi Sibanda, Tawanda Mupariwa, Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza Butt, Neville Madziwa, Donald Tiripano, Timycen Maruma, Wellington Masakadza, Tendai Chisoro, Hamilton Masakadza, Tendai Chatara, Craig Ervine

India ODI and T20 squad: MS Dhoni (capt & wk), KL Rahul, Faiz Fazal, Manish Pandey, Karun Nair, Ambati Rayudu, Rishi Dhawan, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jasprit Bumrah, Barinder Sran, Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Jaydev Unadkat, Yuzvendra Chahal


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