India vs Zimbabwe 2016: Probable Playing XI for India and Zimbabwe for 1st ODI
After a prolonged season of T20 cricket, it is time for the Indian team to get into 50-over mode as they take on Zimbabwe in a 3-match ODI series beginning on Saturday at Harare. India are fielding a relatively inexperienced side in the series with skipper MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu to an extent being the only seasoned campaigners. Zimbabwe, on the other hand, have chosen a strong squad consisting of some of their primary performers over the past few years. The only major change for Zimbabwe has been in terms of their captaincy with Graeme Cremer taking over from Hamilton Masakadza. While Team India will be looking to test their reserve strength in the series, the Zimbabweans will be wanting to re-establish their lost identity in ODI cricket.
Let's take a look at the team that may play for Zimbabwe on Saturday:
The Zimbabwe batting line-up will rely quite a lot on former skipper Hamilton Masakadza as he has been their top ODI batsman in recent times. The 32-year old is the highest run-getter among the batsmen in the current team and is fifth on the all-time list of leading ODI run-scorers for his team. In the top order, Vusi Sibanda, Peter Moor and Chamu Chibhabha will be expected to produce the goods.
Zimbabwe also have the likes of Sean Williams, Craig Ervine and Sikandar Raza in their ranks who can do well against any opposition on their day. In their present batting line-up, Elton Chigumbura boasts of the best record in matches against India as he has a tally of 322 runs from 10 innings at an incredible average of 64.40 and a strike in excess of 90. Against an inexperienced Indian bowling attack, the Zimbabwean batsmen will surely be fancying their chances.
Among the all-rounders in the Zimbabwe team, Williams and Chigumbura are perhaps the finest of the lot with the latter having picked up close to 100 wickets in his career. Raza and Chibhabha, too, can roll their arm over whereas Neville Madziva is more of a bowling all-rounder.
Just days prior to the start of the India series, Zimbabwe suffered a big blow when they lost the services of Tinashe Panyangara due to injury. Tendai Chatara is likely to be the lead pacer for the team alongside Tawanda Mupariwa, who is making a comeback to the ODI side after a year, and Donald Tiripano. Tendai Chisoro and Taurai Muzarbani have also been included in the squad and all-rounders like Chigumbura and Madziva will serve as a backup to the lead pacers.
The spin attack will be led by skipper Cremer, who has claimed 74 wickets in 64 ODIs so far. He will receive support from young left-arm spinner Wellington Masakadza and the likes of Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza may be required to pitch in.
Probable Playing XI
Vusi Sibanda, Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza, Sean Williams, Richmond Mutumbami (wk), Sikandar Raza, Elton Chigumbura, Graeme Cremer (c), Neville Madziva, Donald Tiripano, Tendai Chatara.