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Zimbabwe up against it to stop 5-0 rout

No reason not to give Parvez Rasool and Ajinkya Rahane a game, at the expense of a couple of the regulars, in the last ODI

Zimbabwe up against it to stop 5-0 rout - Cricket News
Ajinkya Rahane will be hoping for a game in the fifth and final ODI against Zimbabwe.
Four-nil up going into the final One-Day International against Zimbabwe on Saturday (August 3), India is on track to record their first whitewash in a five-match series on foreign soil.
 
While India has effected three 5-0 whitewashes in ODI series on home soil in the past five years – two against England and one against New Zealand – only the foolhardy would bet against India notching one up in Zimbabwe.
 
The only question is how much satisfaction India can really draw from the statistical achievement, should it be accomplished. Although India deserves credit for maintaining a high standard throughout the series while Zimbabwe floundered, it has become increasingly clear that India’s visit here has coincided with one of the lowest points in Zimbabwe’s cricket history. And, unlike India’s cricketers, Zimbabwe’s cricketers aren’t even paid well and it can be said, more or less, that they are playing for their country under duress.
 
It is hard enough to deal with the challenge of competing against the best ODI side in the world, but when the support of your own board does not even extend to covering all of your expenses to play in the series, picking yourself up after a thrashing on the field is an enormous ask. This has shown over the course of the series, where Zimbabwe’s performances have regressed, and it will take extreme resolve for the boys to finish on a high note.
 
It would help if Brendan Taylor could win the toss, having lost three of the first four to leave Zimbabwe’s batsmen under immense pressure. It is no coincidence that the one match in which Zimbabwe put up a bit of a fight was the second ODI, when it was able to bowl first in the helpful early-morning conditions.
 
That said, there is no doubt that Zimbabwe has not given a fair account of their abilities. “I think we just need to take a little bit more time when we're facing the first four or five overs,” said Elton Chigumbura after the fourth match.
 
“By that, everything will just come into place because some of the batters are now coming in at different times that they are not used to. If we can have no early wickets, then the rest of the batters will end up batting in their natural positions.”
 
Timycen Maruma is the only specialist batsman on the bench and may be given a game on Saturday, while Kyle Jarvis, the paceman, is likely to return after missing out in the last two matches.
 
After Cheteshwar Pujara and Mohit Sharma got their chance in Thursday’s nine-wicket win, Parveez Rasool and Ajinkya Rahane are now the only players in India’s squad who have not got a game. Given Zimbabwe’s struggles, the Indian team management has little reason not to give the duo a run and allow Ravindra Jadeja and one of the senior batsmen – most likely Suresh Raina – some rest.
 
After all, leaving out some first-choice players is one of the few ways in which India can handicap itself and thereby increase its chances of being challenged. Unfortunately, Zimbabwe is incapable of presenting that challenge with everything it is up against.

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