Another day, another game, and another win for the Men in Blue against hosts Zimbabwe. They did make batting look a tad difficult in the first innings, suffering that all-too familiar mini-collapse before a handy repair job commenced during the middle overs.
There are quite a few danger signs for this young team, despite securing a 2-0 lead in the five-match series, and the team management must address them ahead of the third game on Sunday.
Here are the Quick Flicks for the game:
Top-order comes unstuck
Barring centurion Shikhar Dhawan, the rest of the top-order came a cropper against some excellent bowling from left-arm pacer Brian Vitori, whose early strikes inhibited the free-flowing stroke play that we have come to expect from the Indians. Rohit Sharma played a rather loose shot to be dismissed for 1, before “angry young man” Virat Kohli fell to a delivery that stopped a bit.
Ambati Rayudu once again played a stroke without moving his feet, while Raina’s struggles continued for the second consecutive game. There is no excuse for the kind of shabby footwork and injudicious shot selection from the four. If not for Dhawan and Dinesh Karthik’s resolute partnership, India would have struggled to get to 150 even.
Vinay’s stormy cameo and Shami’s power hit
Trust Zimbabwe to make a tail-ender look like an explosive Virender Sehwag. Vinay Kumar, of all people, decided to have a go at the gentle left-arm spin of Sean Williams. He smashed 17 of the 23 runs that came in that over – inclusive of two sixes that would have made Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate Chris Gayle proud. Williams would have been ashamed of himself at the end of the innings.
Not to be outdone, Shami Ahmed hit out so hard at the last delivery that it ballooned up in the air and just about cleared the long-on fence. It seemed as though they were competing for the best batsman award at the bottom of the order,
Jaydev cuts Zimbabwe down to size
By far the most impressive bowler on display, young Jaydev Unadkat used the conditions well to pick up four wickets – including a marauding Vusi Sibanda. At one stage, he was on a hat-trick, having dismissed Kyle Jarvis and Brian Vitori off successive deliveries.
He might need to build up a bit of muscle; otherwise he is susceptible to those injuries that plagued another lanky left-arm seamer called Ashish Nehra. Classy performance with the ball though!
The woes of Suresh Raina
It seems that the Chennai Superkings stalwart is in the squad purely on the basis of his athletic fielding as well as a part-time bowling option. What he looks to have forgotten is the fact that his primary responsibility is scoring runs. Quite simply, Raina has completely lost his head. He tries too many things before even getting used to the wicket or the bowling. Time for shock therapy for this youngster – perhaps a certain Pujara can give him some competition.
In both the games, the Indian bowling attack failed to take all ten Zimbabwean wickets. This is a fact that they must handle quickly before the tour becomes a farce. Nevertheless, they will look to continue the winning run, while the hosts will have to step up their game to higher levels if they want to stay alive in the series.
Over to Sunday for the third game.