India vs Zimbabwe 2nd ODI Prediction: How will the 2nd ODI shape up at Harare?
Can Zimbabwe pull things back against the ruthless Indians? We predict and analyse here.
The second ODI between Zimbabwe and India will be played on June 13 at the Harare Sports Club. This pretty stadium which holds the record for hosting the most number of day matches in international cricket has always favoured teams that have batted second in an ODI game.
The conditions at Harare are conducive for seam bowling in the first hour of the match with an early start ensuring that there is enough moisture in the wicket for the quicker bowlers to exploit. Hence, the toss at Harare has always been a crucial factor with respect to the ultimate outcome of the game as the pitch tends to flatten out in the second half of the match.
Something similar happened in the first ODI where the visitors won the toss and inserted the apprehensive hosts into bat. The Indian bowlers stuck to their task and Zimbabweans soon were staring down the barrel. Wickets went down at regular intervals and Zimbabwe could just manage a paltry 168.
The Indian batters chased down 169 without breaking a sweat and strolled to victory by 9 wickets.
Graeme Cremer who is still finding his feet as Zimbabwe skipper would love to call it right when the coin goes up on Monday. If he isn't lucky enough he would at least want his batters to give him a decent score in well-known home conditions.
Dhoni, on the other hand, would want an encore of Saturday's clinical performance. No sense of complacency should be allowed to creep in as far as the Indians are concerned.
Venue: Harare Sports Club, Harare
Match date: June 13, 2016
Match timings: 1230 hrs IST
If Zimbabwe bat first
Predicted score: 200 and above
If Zimbabwe bat first they wouldn't want the script to go awry again. The move to play Vusi Sibanda in the middle order with Peter Moor and Chamu Chibhabha opening the innings is questionable. It seems the new coaching team of Zimbabwe comprising of legends like Makhaya Ntini and Lance Klusener have assigned a new role to Sibanda in the middle order.
This move certainly backfired in the last game and it will be interesting to see whether Zimbabwe will persist with the same batting order. Hamilton Masakadza, Craig Ervine and Sikandar Raza need to take up more responsibility in the middle if Zimbabwe wants to post a score of respectability this time around.
Elton Chigumbura played an important innings in the last game and his return to form bodes well for the hosts. Zimbabwe certainly bat deep and the batters would want to make it count in this game and score somewhere around 250 if they bat first.
The Zimbabwe bowlers were miserly in the first game but they did not do enough when it came to adding their names to the wickets column. They just took the solitary wicket of Karun Nair and they would know they need to have a plan in place to dislodge a solid looking Indian top order.
The talented Tendai Chatara bowled well up front with Taurai Muzarabani and troubled the batters from time to time.
Chamu Chibhabha was the pick of the bowlers and he would love to keep up the good work. He beat the bats of the Indians consistently and a lot will be expected from him in this game. Zimbabwe might also opt for another spinner if Cremer feels his side needs some more variety to go with his leg spin.
If that happens, Wellington Masakadza, the off-spinner, could get a game here.
If India bat first
Predicted score: 270 and above
One can expect India to play the same side as Dhoni does not believe in too much tinkering in the name of "experiment". In that case, the Karnataka duo of KL Rahul and Karun Nair will open the innings. Rahul who became the first Indian to score a century on an ODI debut would love to carry his excellent form into this game.
Also, one can expect Nair to make amends. Rayudu gave great support to Rahul and did well to hang in there when the going was extremely tough for him initially. The rest of the batting comprising of Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni could be tested in this game if the Zimbabweans can pick a couple of early wickets.
The Indian fast bowlers set the tone brilliantly in the last game by plugging away consistently near the "corridor of uncertainty". If the opening bowlers Kulkarni and Sran were impressive, Jasprit Bumrah was simply outstanding and picked 4 crucial wickets for his efforts. Bumrah though would want to be more disciplined and not overstep often like he did in the previous game.
The Haryana leggie Yuzvendra Chahal was impressive and he should get another game with Axar Patel giving him company. These two would want to pick at least 4 wickets between them in the middle overs and push the hosts on the back-foot. Expect India to beat Zimbabwe comfortably and seal the three-match ODI series with an unassailable 2-0 lead.
Probable winner: India