5 surprising ODI defeats for India against weaker opponents
4. Zimbabwe's first ODI victory against India at Bulawayo, 1997
In the late 1990s, India had one of the strongest batting units in ODI cricket with batsmen such as Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Mohammad Azharuddin playing for the same team. The bowling was not bad either with Javagal Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad heralding the pace attack whereas Anil Kumble was the ace spinner in the team.
Zimbabwe had just started to spread their wings a little in the international arena with some talented players in the form of Andy Flower, Heath Streak, Grant Flower and Alistair Campbell. The year 1997 saw the Indians tour Zimbabwe for a 2-match ODI series which they were expected to win quite comfortably.
Having been asked to bat, the visitors were in deep trouble at 95 for 6 and were rescued by a 64-run partnership between Robin Singh and Kumble. However, with the fall of Kumble's wicket, the Indian innings folded up quickly with just 168 runs on the board. Streak was the wrecker-in-chief for Zimbabwe with figures of 5 for 32.
Rain intervened during the match and the hosts were given a target of 136 in 38 overs. Opener Grant Flower anchored the Zimbabwean chase with an unbeaten 61 as they knocked out the required runs in just the 26th over with 8 wickets intact. It was the African nation's first win over India in ODI cricket and they won the series 1-0, too, as the 2nd match got washed out.