HARARE: After the humiliation they suffered in the ODI tri-series, India will look to make amends and take revenge against giant-slayers Zimbabwe in the first Twenty20 International on Saturday.
Here with a second-string team, India were dumped out of the just-concluded tri-series after suffering back-to-back defeats against the spirited Zimbabweans.
The host team, which lost the tri-series final to Sri Lanka, would be plotting another shocker for the Indians.
The break that followed their tri-series ouster has given Suresh Raina’s men enough time to chalk out their plans to avoid another stunner from Elton Chigumbura’s fighting side.
The key to India’s success is batting and the line-up is desperately missing the heavyweights, who were rested from the series.
Dinesh Karthik and M Vijay are not exactly the ideal opening pair for Twenty20s as both the batsmen are known to take their time in settling down at the crease before attempting strokes.
In fact, the duo couldn’t make much of an impact in the ODI series failing to score any memorable knock.
Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Raina himself are the men in form and would look to continue their run in the two Twenty20s.
A lot would be expected from Twenty20 specialist Yusuf Pathan, who would be aiming to prove his worth after being dropped from the ODI squad for the upcoming Asia Cup owing to poor run of form.
On the bowling front, the Indian spin attack would be bolstered by the arrival of Piyush Chawla as Amit Mishra and Pragyan Ojha have not made a mark so far on the tour.
The pace department is not too impressive either with the Ashok Dindas and Umesh Yadavs conceding too many runs for too few wickets.
Zimbabwe, on the other hand, are high on morale despite the tri-series final loss to Sri Lanka. The team has shown the stomach for a fight and they would be looking to continue just that.
Their batsmen showed decent form in the ODIs and would be looking to be slightly more aggressive in the shortest format of the game.
Hamilton Masakadza, Tatenda Taibu and Charles Coventry are proven performers and the Zimbabweans would be hoping to get some explosive knocks from them to surprise the Indians once again.
India: Suresh Raina (captain), M Vijay, Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Abhimanyu Mithun, Ashok Dinda, Pankaj Singh, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Naman Ojha, Piyush Chawla.
Zimbabwe: Elton Chigumbura (captain), Andy Blignaut, Chamu Chibhabha, Charles Coventry, Graeme Cremer, Craig Ervine, Greg Lamb, Hamilton Masakadza, Chris Mpofu, Ray Price, Ed Rainsford, Vusi Sibanda, Tatenda Taibu, Brendan Taylor, Prosper Utseya.