Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill added their third century partnership for the opening wicket in four innings as India crushed Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in the first match of a three-match ODI series in Harare on Thursday.
This is now India’s 12th successive ODI win in Zimbabwe.
Chasing 190, Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill added 192 runs for the first wicket against a hapless Zimbabwe bowling line-up. Dhawan and Gill were superb in their association in the ODIs in West Indies and they carried the same form to Harare.
Zimbabwe vs India, 1st ODI Updates
Several fans were left shocked when Gill walked out to open with Dhawan. KL Rahul, returning from a layoff forced by injuries and Covid-19, was expected to bat up the order but the stand-in captain decided to hold back.
It wasn’t a bad decision. KL Rahul has been spectacular as a middle-order option in one-day cricket and India would be eager to look at back-up opening options alongside Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan.
On Thursday, Gill took his time to get going but once he got his eyes in, there were some fluent shots off the bat. Dhawan was more conservative and he was happy to let his younger partner take over and deliver victory for India.
Earlier in the day, KL Rahul had opted to bowl first after winning the toss. But a bowling attack studded with Deepak Chahar, making a comeback after 6 months, Mohammad Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel left Zimbabwe in tatters.
Chahar returned career-best ODI figures after finishing with 3 for 27 off 7 overs while Prasidh Krishna and Axar also picked three wickets each. Siraj picked 1 for 36 off 8 overs; Kuldeep Yadav bowled 10 tight overs, conceding only 36 runs but he did not manage to get a wicket.
Deepak Chahar inflicted early damage on Zimbabwe when he dismissed Innocent Kaia and Tadiwanashe Marumani to leave the hosts tottering at 26 for 2. Siraj gave India another big breakthrough when he dismissed Sean Williams for 1 before Chahar picked his third wicket of the innings to see off Wessly Madhevere.
Sikandar Raza was brilliant against Bangladesh. He had hit back-to-back hundreds in a memorable ODI series win but on Thursday, he failed against one of the best sides in world cricket who were touring without some of their biggest names.
Skipper Regis Chakabva, Brad Evans (33) and Richard Ngarava (34) scored important runs which helped Zimbabwe reach 189 after they had been reduced to 83 for 6 in the 21st over. However, a target of 190 was never going to be daunting for a team which is riding high on successive ODI series wins in England and West Indies.
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