After a shock defeat in the first match of the three-match T20 series, India bounced back by inflicting a crushing 10-wicket win on hosts Zimbabwe in the second match. Barinder Sran was the wrecker-in-chief, picking up four wickets in his first T20I, and was ably supported by Bumrah, who picked three. Chahal and Kulkarni chipped in with a wicket apiece.KL Rahul and Mandeep Singh then made short work of the chase, largely untroubled by the Zimbabwean bowling attack that couldn’t repeat their last match exploits. The target of 100 was chased down in just 13.1 overs, as India levelled the series to make the third match a decider.
KL Rahul: 8.5/10
Despite a blemish in the first T20, Rahul carried on his form from the ODI series, and was hardly untroubled by what the Zimbabwean bowlers had to offer. He came close to reaching yet another fifty on this tour. Rahul started watchfully, but unleashed his shots as the chase progressed and the target diminished.
His assured strokeplay at the top of the order made it sure that India reached the target without any concern. His innings was studded with two fours and as many as sixes.
Mandeep Singh: 9/10
Having not got a chance in the ODI series, Mandeep has made the T20s count, following up the 31 he scored in the first match with an unbeaten 50 in this one. He played solid, conventional strokes and was largely untroubled by the Zimbabwean bowlers. In the company of Rahul, he started off slowly, but changed gears as the required runs reduced. His 52 consisted of six fours and a maximum.
Ambati Rayudu: N/A
Rayudu didn’t get to bat, but took two catches and was effective on the boundary ropes while fielding.
Manish Pandey: N/A
Manish Pandey also didn’t get an opportunity to bat. He had a poor day on the field as well, dropping a sitter off the bowling of Kulkarni.
Kedhar Jadhav: N/A
Jadhav didn’t get to bat in this match.
Axar Patel: 7.5/10
Patel carried on his responsibility of bowling tight and quick spells in the middle overs, not allowing the new batsmen to settle down. Although he could not pick up any wicket, he mixed up his lines nicely, although he strayed down the leg side way too often.
He gave away 23 runs from his quota of four, and was impactful on the field as he always is, taking two catches too.
MS Dhoni: 8/10
Unlike last time, Dhoni wasn’t required to bat as the target was chased down by the openers themselves. He maintained the pressure on the Zimbabwean batsman from the first over itself, mixing up his bowlers nicely and hardly giving Zimbabwe the opportunity to settle.
He also had his men at the right places, as was shown in the dismissal of Sikandar Raza, when he had placed KL Rahul at the gully position for the cut-shot.
Yuzvendra Chahal: 8/10
Chahal followed his trend of keeping things tight in the middle overs, mixing up his deliveries and giving flight to them nicely on and outside the off stump. He managed to pick up the wicket of Malcom Waller, who was looking to put on a partnership with the top-scorer Peter Moor. As had been the case throughout the ODIs, Chahal tied up the batsman in the middle overs with Axar Patel in tandem. He, however, dropped a skier off his own bowling.
Dhawal Kulkarni: 7.5/10
The most expensive bowler of the lot, Kulkarni was not able to create the same impact as Sran with the new ball. He conceded 32 runs from his quota of four, and bowled two wides as well.
He was unlucky to not get the wicket of Waller, after the latter was dropped by Manish Pandey. While Sran looked incisive in the first few overs, Kulkarni was unable to pick up a wicket in his first spell, but came back to dismiss Graeme Cremer to get Zimbabwe’s ninth and final wicket.
Barinder Sran: 9.5/10
Sran looked off color in the final ODI, and made way for Jaydev Unadkat for the first T20. After Unadkat had a poor outing, Sran was reinstated in the team. In this match, he bowled beautifully in with the new ball to strangle Zimbabwe early in the innings. He bowled on a tight line on and outside the off stump channel, and finished with figures of 4-10, which were the best figures for an Indian T20 debutant, and the second best T20I figures by an Indian bowler.
Jasprit Bumrah: 9/10
Bumrah played the ideal foil for Sran’s top order rampage, cleaning up the middle order to beat any resistance from the Zimbabwean batsman. He claimed the wickets of Peter Moor, who was the only batsman who spent some time in the middle, and returned to dismiss Chigumbura and Madziva.
He bowled in a tight channel on the stumps at a nagging length, angling the ball into the right-hander. He has now picked up 24 wickets in T20I matches in 2016, the most by any bowler this year.