Harare, July 18 (IANS) India will hope to end the Zimbabwe tour on a high with a win in the second Twenty20 International at the Harare Sports Club here on Sunday.
A second string India, captained by young batsman Ajinkya Rahane, clinched the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series 3-0. The visitors were a superior side in the first T20I too, winning the match by 54 runs.
The visitors will have very little homework to do after putting up an impressive show both with the bat and ball so far. But the hosts will look to win a match and redeem some of their bruised pride.
India fielded five debutants Axar Patel, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadav, Sandip Sharma and Stuart Binny for the T20 match on Friday. Patel made his T20 debut memorable, winning the man of the match award after picking up three wickets giving away just 17 runs.
He was given ample support by veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh (2/29) after experienced batsman-wicketkeeper Robin Uthappa played a responsible 35-ball 39-run knock to guide India to 178/5.
Set a target of 179, Zimbabwe could muster only 124/7, undone by the slow bowling pair of Patel and Harbhajan.
India will aim to capitalise on their batting strength once again, hoping their batsmen would again set up the victory with another strong total.
Rahane and Vijay scored at a fast clip and the onus will be on them once again to provide India a platform. Uthappa will also like to make a big score, after his crucial knock in the first T20.
Zimbabwe need quality performances from batsmen Hamilton Masakadza, Chamu Chibhabha and Vusimuzi Sibanda and bowlers like Prosper Utseya and Tinashe Panyangara.
Skipper Elton Chigumbura and Sean Williams will share the dual responsibility of contributing with both bat and ball.
India: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Robin Uthappa, Murali Vijay, Stuart Binny, Manoj Tiwary, Harbhajan Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Sandeep Sharma, Sanju Samson and Mohit Sharma.
Zimbabwe: Elton Chigumbura (captain), Regis Chakabva, Chamu Chibhabha, Graeme Cremer, Neville Madziva, Hamilton Masakadza, Richmond Mutumbami (wk), Tinashe Panyangara, Sikandar Raza, Donald Tiripano, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori, Malcolm Waller and Sean Williams.