India vs Zimbabwe 3rd ODI: Rating the Indian cricketers
Zimbabwe made as many as five changes to their lineup, but still couldn’t stop a rampaging Indian bowling attack that first kept the batsmen under a tight leash, and then choked them into losing a flurry of wickets in the middle overs, something which they could not recover from and were bundled out for 123 under 43 overs.
The opening duo of KL Rahul and Faiz Fazal then made short work of the chase, starting watchfully but unleashing their natural scores even as the meagre target diminished quickly. Both ended with 50+ scores and finished the whitewash with a 10-wicket win.
KL Rahul : 8.5/10
Rahul has been in fantastic form throughout the series, right from his debut ton in the first match. With a level head and a solid technique to back his talent, Rahul has been playing confidently off the front foot. He has a tendency to lose his wicket after good starts, playing false strokes against the run of play, but kept his composure to get to his second 50+ score in the series.
During the cricket match, he took a brilliant catch in the slips, flying to his left to gobble up a thick edge that was travelling at pace.
Faiz Fazal: 8/10
Making his debut at the age of 30, Faizal made most of the lost time by spending some quality time in the middle with Rahul and getting accustomed to the conditions and surface. He batted sedately in the initial overs, playing every ball on its merit and running sensibly between the wickets. His innings started off nervously with a few pokes and jabs, but looked natural as he spent more time in the company of KL Rahul. Once he had spent enough time in the middle, he started unleashing his strokes to get past his 50 on debut.
Ambati Rayudu: n/a
He didn’t get to bat in the match.
Manish Pandey: n/a
Manish also didn’t get an opportunity to bat as well, but took a sharp catch in the slips.
Kedhar Jadhav: n/a
He didn’t get an opportunity to bat.
MS Dhoni: 7.5/10
Dhoni has had an easy outing as a captain, hardly getting any resistance from the hosts. Having got to field first all three times, he has given equal opportunity to each bowler. With the Zimbabweans started slowly and managed to better their previous performances in the first 20 overs, Dhoni quickly turned to his spinners, that first kept the score in check and dented the middle order with a string of quick wickets that pulled out the life of the innings.
He was a bit shabby behind the stumps, failing to gather a couple of edges and sharp chances.
Axar Patel: 8/10
The left arm spinner tied up the middle order in knots, bowling tight lines just outside the off stump to stem the flow of runs and captured Graeme Cremer for a golden duck. Bowling at a miserly economy of just 1.60, he went through with his overs quickly, hardly giving the batsmen time to settle. In the company of Chahal from the other end, he made sure that the Zimbabweans never managed to recover from the middle order collapse.
Dhawal Kulkarni: 8/10
Kulkarni started the Zimbabwean slide by accounting for Hamilton Masakadza in the fifth over of the innings. He kept bowling his nagging lines at disconcerting lengths outside the off stump, and kept the run rate under check in the initial overs. He was a bit off with his radar to start with, bowling a couple of wides. He finished the innings with a brilliant pick up and throw at the non-strikers end, a direct hit that ended Tiripano’s stay at the end.
Jasprit Bumrah: 8.5/10
His experience may be limited to just a few internationals, yet Bumrah has shown immense control over the ball to trouble the Zimbabwean batsman time and again. Bowling with an angle that seams the ball into the right-hander after pitching, he was able to cut the batsmen in half with pace and movement, slipping the odd yorker or slow bouncer to fox them. He started off with a no-ball but was in his stride quickly, picking up a career-best 4-22 and bettering his effort in the first ODI.
Yuzvendra Chahal: 8/10
Chahal has been phenomenal in the middle overs, tossing up the ball without any apprehensions and enticing the batsman to drive or go for the big stroke. He added two more to his bulging tally of wickets in this series, mixing his length and pace shrewdly to keep the batsman guessing all the time. Usually safe in the field, he dropped a straightforward catch in the initial part of the innings. While Axar kept one end tight with his left-armers, Chahal tried to break the batsmen’s resolve with nagging lines.
Barinder Sran: 6.5/10
Sran started off with the new ball, but wasn’t at his best, failing to get a single wicket off the eighth overs that he bowled. He was unable to consistently move the ball back in as he had done on the previous occasions, but angled the ball away from the right-handers. He was the most expensive of the lot, conceding 40 runs from his eight overs, nearly one-third of the Zimbabwean total.