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We are now heading towards the 4th one day of the series between India and Zimbabwe. India have already taken it away from the home side and we’ve to wait and see if something substantial comes from the hosts in Bulawayo to redeem their pride.
It was expected that this series is certainly going to be a lopsided affair. One can’t put all the blame on the hosts as there is huge difference between the two sides. India have had all the big games whereas the Zimbabweans didn’t have much of exposure at different levels. Over the years India have played against best teams and players not only at home but also internationally, whereas, Zimbabwe hardly managed to keep the cricketing program intact in the presence of the internal conflicts.
Hence in such uneven series what else can be expected from the next games in Bulawayo considering the fact that Kohli has already led the young side to win the title?
As for Zimbabweans, they’ll have to show some intent. It’s not that they don’t have any strength in the bowling and the batting departments. Indians have simply outplayed the Zimbabweans at every step. Hosts will have to show some aggressiveness and intent and they can definitely do this if they put some faith in the batting line so that they can post some really challenging totals on the board.
What will decide the fate of the next match is that how Zimbabwe sees off new ball. At Harare, in 2nd ODI, when their top order had accumulated some runs then they had a fair chance to fight in that game. But the stiff target didn’t let that happen for the minnows. It will be in the favor of the hosts if they play first in the 4th ODI and try to make big score if the toss is won by them.
The thing that Zimbabwe missed in all the three ODIs while bowling is that they couldn’t maintain pressure when some dismissals happened. Despite of the fact that they took 4 wickets early on in the 2nd ODI, they were far too defensive in their approach. If they want to fight for their pride then they must not give extra respect to the famous Indian batting as this is the only way by which they can turn things back in their favor.
India will have to make sure that the Zimbabweans must not rise from this stage in the last two games. A lot will be decided by their intent to clean sweep the opponents at their home. Indians have played much better cricket than Zimbabwe and winning all the matches still remains the habit of the great teams such as Australia in 2000s and West Indies in 80s. India will again look to outdo the hosts in 4th ODI at Bulawayo.
The only concern for India is death bowling as well as to knock off the tail of the opponent as quickly as possible. Mishra was purposeful after their pacers managed to get breakthroughs early in the innings. The visitors will be hoping that he continues with his splendid run.
Of late, the Indian batting has really been their major strength. Every time there is someone who steps forward and performs for his side making life harder for the opponent. The fact that India is winning consistently even in the absence of the regular skipper shows how resilient their batting line is.