Zimbabwe will look to produce an improved batting effort while India focus on sealing the series in the second ODI in Harare on Saturday. There are chances that the game might turn out to be a lop-sided one, given the fact that India.are equipped with relatively strong players despite top stars missing the 50-over assignment. (India vs Zimbabwe live Score 2nd ODI).
But more than taking a 2-0 lead, the VVS Laxman-led team management will look to give some match practice to skipper KL Rahul, who didn’t get a chance to bat in the last ODI. The series opener was a near-perfect game for India, with Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill putting up an unconquered 192-run stand and fit-again Deepak Chahar plucking a three-fer.
In case Rahul wins the toss in Saturday’s second ODI, he will look to try and bat first with a rejigged order. A two-month layoff may have kept Rahul out of the national set-up but he still remains a vital cog in the top order, especially when India plays two major tournaments shortly. He would look to get into the groove ahead of the Asia Cup, where India square off against arch-rivals Pakistan in their first game on August 28.
Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda and Sanju Samson will certainly prove to be more than a handful for Zimbabwe, who folded for a modest 189 in the series opener. Rahul, who is yet to adapt to India’s much-talked-about aggressive approach, could climb up the order and open alongside Shikhar Dhawan. Also, Deepak Hooda, if given a chance to bat up the order, can also get some game time before the Asia Cup.
A top-heavy batting side, Rahul has multiple openers at his disposal. Ruturaj Gaikwad was on the bench in the first ODI, while Ishan was slotted at the No. 3 position but didn’t get a chance to bat. Dhawan sustained a forearm injury sustained towards the end of the first ODI and if the blow is serious, Rahul could open with Gill or Ruturaj in the second game.
On the bowling front, Chahar remains the central character after his showing in the first game. His new-ball partner Mohammed Siraj will also search for a few more wickets, while Prasidh Krishna, known for his smart variations, may have a few new tricks up his sleeve. The troika produced a flawless performance and it’s highly unlikely that India tinkers with the bowling line-up. Avesh Khan, however, might enter the eleven if they decide to use him before the Asia Cup T20s.
India vs Zimbabwe Predicted XI:
Openers: KL Rahul (c), Shikhar Dhawan
Middle order: Deepak Hooda, Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson (wk)
All-rounder: Axar Patel
Spin options: Kuldeep Yadav
Pace Bowlers: Mohammed Siraj, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna
India Predicted XI for 2nd ODI vs Zimbabwe: Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul (c), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Sanju Samson, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna.