India vs Zimbabwe 2nd ODI: Rating the Indian cricketers
In the 2nd ODI of the ongoing three-match one-day international series between India and Zimbabwe, India put up a dominant performance once again and defeated the hosts by 8 wickets today at the Harare Sports Club. Chasing a paltry total of 127 runs to win, Ambati Rayudu, Karun Nair, and KL Rahul scored valuable 30s and 40s to make a cake walk of the small target and give their side an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. Earlier, Yuzvendra Chahal’s career-best 3-wicket haul and two-wickets-a-piece taken by the new ball duo of Barinder Sran and Dhawal Kulkarni saw the home side bundled out for 126 in 34.3 overs.
Here are the player ratings for the Indian cricketers who featured in the game:
KL Rahul : 7/10
The record-breaking centurion from the last match, KL Rahul, looked to be good touch in this game as well, as he started out positively and scored 33 runs off 50 balls with 4 fours. Rahul, along with his Karnataka team-mate and fellow opening batsman Karun Nair, shared a 58-run opening stand, thereby laying the platform for the middle order to build upon and time the chase accordingly. The right-hander couldn’t carry his bat in this innings, though, as Chamu Chibhabha got him playing on to his stumps in the 15th over.
Karun Nair : 7/10
After failing on his ODI debut, Karun Nair, tried to make the most of his second opportunity in international cricket, by playing a consolidated innings of 39 runs off 68 balls with 5 boundaries. The Karnataka batsman, however, couldn’t carry his team home, as he was trapped leg-before by Sikandar Raza in the 27th over, with India needing just 2 more runs for victory. With such a short target to chase, Nair could afford the strike rate of 57.35 that he had in his innings, but in order to cement his place in the full-strength squad, he would have to up that scoring rate a little bit, as the team may often demand of him to score quickly while chasing a steep target.
Ambati Rayudu : 8/10
Ambati Rayudu once again showed his prowess with the bat in the top order by remaining unbeaten on 41 off just 44 balls with 7 boundaries, and guiding his side home in an emphatic fashion. This knock was in addition to his unbeaten half-century in the previous game, wherein he had played a firm supporting role to KL Rahul, who at the other end had scored an unbeaten match-winning century. Rayudu pressed the accelerator right from the word go and started carving the Zimbabwean bowlers to all parts of the ground, two features of which were the straight drive that he played off Chigumbura in the 22nd over, which was immediately followed by a beautiful on-drive that split the gap between mid-on and short midwicket. He has also hit consecutive boundaries on two more occasions – against Chatara in the 16th over and against Chibhabha in the 24th over – thereby showing his aggressive intent.
Manish Pandey : N. A.
Manish Pandey didn't get an opportunity to bat much, as once again, the top three batsmen in the Indian line-up successfully executed the run-chase. He was out there in the middle only for one ball, and hence, it wouldn’t be right to rate him based on that.
Kedar Jadhav : N. A.
Jadhav didn’t get the opportunity to bat. However, he was good in the outfield and took two catches.
MS Dhoni : 8.5/10
The Indian captain had lead his young troops to perfection so far in the series, and he was right on the money in this game as well, marshalling his men efficiently. Since the ball was swinging more as compared to the last match, due to the prevailing overcast conditions, he gave Barinder Sran and Dhawal Kulkarni an extended spell of six overs. Thereafter, Dhoni immediately deployed spin from one hand, as Axar Patel was introduced in the 14th over. Zimbabwe were already three down, and that allowed the Indian skipper to deploy spinners from both ends, a move that immediately brought rewards, as Yuzvendra Chahal dismissed Sikandar Raza, Elton Chigumbura and Vusi Sibanda in quick succession to destroy the Zimbabwean middle order. The 34-year-old also took a good catch, diving low to his left behind the stumps to dismiss Richmond Mutumbami off Jasprit Bumrah.
Axar Patel : 8/10
The spinners have been excellent for India in the series so far, and senior one – at least in terms of experience – of the two spinners who played today, Axar Patel, did not disappoint. From 7.3 overs that he bowled, out of which 1 was a maiden, he conceded just 22 runs and picked up the last Zimbabwean wicket, that of Taurai Muzarabani, who was adjudged leg-before-wicket in the 35th over, thereby essentially ending the Zimbabwean struggle at 126 runs.
Dhawal Kulkarni : 8/10
The most experienced of the Indian new-ball bowlers, Dhawal Kulkarni, lived up to the expectations in this game as well – like he had in the last one – as he provided India with an early breakthrough as well as a wicket at the death. Upfront, Kulkarni trapped Chamu Chibhabha leg-before-wicket in the 10th over to reduce Zimbabwe to 39/3 and then came back in the 32nd over to knock over Tendai Chatara’s stumps through a delivery that held its line after pitching on off and kissed the top of off stump. In helpful conditions, Kulkarni swung the ball both ways and extracted movement off the pitch as well, thereby bamboozling the Zimbabwean batsmen. The Mumbaikar returned with figures of 3/31 from 9 overs.
Barinder Sran : 8.5/10
The young left-arm seamer from Punjab is growing from strength to strength with every match that he plays, as was evident today, wherein his sharp seaming deliveries got the Zimbabwean openers into trouble right from the first over of the innings. As he had done in the last game, Sran got India early wickets in this game as well, picking up Hamilton Masakadza in the 5th over and Peter Moor in the 7th over. While Masakadza chased a wide delivery outside off stump and lofted it to Bumrah at third man, Moor played down the wrong line and got trapped in front of his middle stump by a delivery that came back in after pitching on off stump.
Jasprit Bumrah : 7/10
Jasprit Bumrah, who picked up his career-best figures of 4/28 in the last match, wasn’t as threatening today, but still managed to pick up a wicket in the 6 overs that he bowled, conceding 27 runs. Brought into the attack in the 13th over, Bumrah bowled good lines and lengths but wasn’t able to pick up a wicket early in his spell. He returned in the 31st over to angle a length ball back into Richmond Mutumbami, thereby inducing an inside edge and allowing Dhoni to take a sharp catch diving to his left, behind the wicket.
Yuzvendra Chahal : 8.5/10
The young Indian leg-spinner, who only made his debut in the last game played between the two sides two days back showed some signs of early maturity, as he followed up his solitary wicket on debut with three more in this game, once again in the middle overs, thereby breaking the back of the Zimbabwean middle order and preventing them from getting any sort of momentum to their innings. Chahal’s first victim was Sikandar Raza, who was dismissed for 16 when he tried to go for the big shot in an attempt to push the scoring rate, but holed out to Kedar Jadhav. On the very next ball, Elton Chigumbura was trapped leg-before right in front of his middle stump by a flighted leg break to leave Zimbabwe tottering at 106/5 in te 27th over. An over later, in the 29th , Zimbabwe’s best batsman of the day, Vusi Sibanda – who had already scored a half-century – was also lured into playing a big shot through some air given to the ball, and holed out to Jadhav at long on.