Mahendra Singh Dhoni has mostly led a team that includes certain over but it will be a different challenge when he will be leading a transformed Indian cricket team against Zimbabwe in the first ODI starting here on Saturday.
In the recent years, Indian team has always played limited-overs series against Zimbabwe post-IPL where the BCCI tests its bench strength. Though the players have impressed as they won a back-to-back whitewashes 5-0 and 3-0 in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
Will new Indian team able to repeat the same performance like in the past
Sticking to the same line, this time around five players will debut in international cricket. But this series is special in a sense that the captain it ‘ll be a long time after 11 years when MS DHONI will play in the African zone .
He played in Zimbabwe long back in 2005 when his international career was barely six months old and was playing under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly.
There are speculations about when he will descend from the top leadership but he has not gone there to save his captaincy yet but tours like in Zimbabwe has always a best known place for any top player.
India will be hoping to win the series easily but will not be complacent as we have seen some unexpected results in the past.
It is very interesting to see Dhoni leading an inexperienced and young players. Dhoni has played 275 ODIs, the rest of the squad cumulatively has 83 matches to their credit. And also if keeps away the record of Ambati Rayudu (31 matches) and Axar Patel (22)’s who have appeared in Men N Blues, then the rest seven others have a total of 30 matches to their names.
And more important is beside KL Rahul, no other youngsters in this team will be going to West Indies for the Test series.
Spinner Axar will be thinking to show the critics that he is not an IPL bowler while Rayudu will also be playing to gain a permanent spot in the Indian cricket team.
Indian Cricket Team
Left-arm bowler BarinderSran will try to claim the place in the team after a good IPL season. JaydevUnadkat will show that why he has been picked up for the squad.
Known for lethal Yorkers, speedster JaspritBumrah is again expected to shoulder the burden of being the strike bowler. Dhawal Kulkarni will aim to continue his IPL form.
The challenge for KL Rahul has scored two centuries in the test matches but will think to unlock the same potential in limited overs.
Leg-spinner YuzvendraChahal’s performance in the IPL helped him to gain the spot where he was the third leading wicket taker. Chahal bowls a leg break as well as an effective googly.
All domestic performers- left-handed opener FaizFazal, off-spinner Jayant Yadav, and right-handed middle-order batsman Mandeep Singh got the opportunity this time
The other side Zimbabwe will be playing against the team who is the top five. But the team has the depths in the skill level and having the various quality of players in the side.
Still Elton Chigumbura, VusimuziSibanda, Sikandar Raza, Hamilton Masakadza, Craig Ervine and Sean Williams are big names of the home side, who with their game can cause a few problems for the Indians.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain and wk), FaizFazal, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Ambati Rayudu, KedarJadhav, Karun Nair, Mandeep Singh, Rishi Dhawan, JaspritBumrah, Dhawal Kulkarni, YuzvendraChahal, JaydevUnadkat, Jayant Yadav, Axar Patel.
Zimbabwe: Graeme Cremer (captain), ChamuChibhabha, TendaiChatara, Elton Chigumbura, Craig Ervine, Neville Madziva, TendaiChisoro, TimycenMaruma, Wellington Masakadza, Hamilton Masakadza, Peter Moor, TwanadaMupariwa, Sikandar Raza, Richard Mutumbami (wk), Donald Tiripano, TauraiMuzarabani, VusimuziSibanda, Sean Williams.