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Upbeat India looking for clean sweep

Visiting side could give some of those on the bench a go in third ODI against Zimbabwe

Upbeat India looking for clean sweep - Cricket News
India celebrates a wicket.
Consecutive victories achieved with all departments working well and the series in the bag, India might be looking to experiment even as it aims for a clean sweep against Zimbabwe in the third and final One-Day International at the Harare Sports Club on Wednesday (June 15).
India’s inexperienced side already sealed the ODI series at the first chance, taking a 2-0 lead with comprehensive wins in both games, being particularly dominant in the second ODI. The bowlers kept Zimbabwe to 126 and India’s batsmen chased it down in just 26.5 overs with eight wickets in the bag. Zimbabwe’s cause was not helped by the fact that Sean Williams, who replaced the injured Craig Ervine for the second ODI, took a blow to the finger during the warm-ups and was absent hurt for the game.
Prior to the series, Graeme Cremer, the Zimbabwe captain, had hoped to cash in on the home advantage to put a young Indian side under pressure. But, it is the Indians who have felt more at home despite the nippy conditions in Harare, while the home side has failed to fire as a unit.
“This is our own backyard and we should actually do really well in our own backyard,” admitted Vusi Sibanda. “If we as batters don't step up to the plate and do as well as we'd like to do and put up runs on the board, it's a going to be tough for bowlers and defend the total. As a senior guy in the team, I shouldn't be saying that leave it to the other guys.”
MS Dhoni, the captain and only veteran in the Indian side, hinted at changes in the batting lineup as only the top three batsmen have spent substantial time in the middle. "So far, only three of our top batsmen have got the chance to play. In the batting department we would like to make changes," Dhoni said after winning the second ODI.
KL Rahul hammered a ton on his ODI debut in the first match, and Ambati Rayudu has spent a long time in the middle in both ODIs. Either of the two could be rested, with the uncapped Faiz Fazal or Mandeep Singh given a go.
All the bowlers have impressed in India’s first two matches, while the trio of Jaydev Unadkat, Rishi Dhawan and Jayant Yadav have been on the bench. Yadav, the offspinner, could get a look in if one of Yuzvendra Chahal or Axar Patel are rested. Unadkat and Dhawan will only play if one of the three pacers – Jasprit Bumrah, Dhawal Kulkarni and Barinder Sran – are left out.

In contrast with India, the best of Zimbabwe has not been visible as often as the home team would have liked, aside from a bright spark here or a fighting effort there. Barring Elton Chigumbura and Sibanda, who scored a half-century in the second ODI, Zimbabwe’s batsmen have not got the better of the Indian attack, which has made the most of friendly conditions. Although it must also be said Zimbabwe has had the tougher batting conditions, with Dhoni winning both tosses and sticking the home team in.
Being the senior batsmen in the side, Hamilton Masakadza, Chamu Chibhabha and Sikandar Raza have to shoulder the batting responsibilities. “You've got a lot of time in 50 overs. The players need to have the maturity of being able to read the game and understand the situation,” said Makhaya Ntini, the interim Zimbabwe coach, of the team’s collapse in the second ODI. “It's how the Indian team batted. They read the situation, they knew that if there's a good bowler, they respect that. They waited for the bad ball. We didn't, we tried to force matters.”
The series may be gone, but Zimbabwe will feel it has a point to prove and pride to salvage.
Teams (from)
Graeme Cremer (capt), Tendai Chatara, Chamu Chibhabha, Elton Chigumbura, Tendai Chisoro, Craig Ervine, Neville Madziva, Timycen Maruma, Hamilton Masakadza, Wellington Masakadza, Peter Moor, Twanada Mupariwa, Richard Mutumbami (wk), Taurai Muzarabani, Vusimuzi Sibanda, Sikandar Raza, Donald Tiripano, Sean Williams.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt, wk), KL Rahul, Faiz Fazal, Manish Pandey, Karun Nair, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Mandeep Singh, Rishi Dhawan, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, Axar Patel.

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