After a brief departure from the script in the first game, it was business as usual in the India v Zimbabwe series, as India crushed the hosts by 10 wickets to level the T20 series. With the decider in Harare today, Zimbabwe are looking to plug the same old gaps they have had all series – poor top order batting and shot selection that has left them wanting and mostly toothless bowling.
In the second game, there were far too many impatient strokes and not enough alacrity in terms of keeping the scoreboard moving. But that is not to take credit away from the Indian bowlers, Barinder Sran and Jasprit Bumrah who were exceptional with their line and length. After forgettable debuts for Jayadev Unadkat and Rishi Dhawan, India will be heartened by Sran’s approach and Bumrah’s continuing excellence as well as the fact that the other bowlers chipped in. The problem still remains the middle order which once again was not tested as the openers K L Rahul and Mandeep Singh chased the target of 100 down with almost 7 overs to spare.
Zimbabwe’s best shot at winning the series is likely to be to bat first and put a sizeable total on board like they had done in the first game but for that they will need someone to drop anchor. Absurd as it may sound for a T20 game, consolidation is important for a team like Zimbabwe who have been struggling with any of their top tier batsmen stringing an innings of any substance together. The bowlers will probably take some inspiration from the first game, but if anything, India will have their sights set on another professional performance that seals the series and the tour on a high note.