HARARE: A fancied India team is a shoo-in to complete a 3-0 ODI series sweep against a Zimbabwe side that has been struggling to put up even a semblance of a fight.
Having done exceedingly well to not only turn up but also trump its hapless opponent on all fronts in the preceding two matches, India will enter the third and final ODI knowing well that the script is unlikely to change at the Harare Sports Complex on Monday.
The visiting team will get yet another opportunity to carry out experimentation keeping the bigger picture in mind i.e next year’s ICC World Cup.
Stand-in skipper KL Rahul has done quite well to keep the players motivated enough to go out to the middle, grab the chances with both hands and cement their places in the team that is gearing up for big battles.
There is no doubt that they have not faced the kind of examination which would have helped them develop further, but those who are looking to get a longer run at the top level would not mind the experience.
If the 161 all-out in the second match is any evidence, the home team continues to look for a quick fix to its batting woes.
The bowlers are also unable to trouble the India batting line-up that has some of the top ODI players in its ranks.
For proof, one can take a look at Shikhar Dhawan’s statistics in the 50-over format.
Shubman Gill should not be content with whatever he has achieved so far on the tour and will look to have another go at the Zimbabwe bowlers.
The move to promote himself up the order in the second match did not work, but that will not deter Rahul from trying it out one more time.
His stay at the crease in the second ODI lasted just nine minutes as he could score only one run off five balls.
In the absence of the front-line bowlers, the India attack has performed extremely well and showed what it is capable of.
The quality of opposition is no reason to undermine the efforts of Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Prasidh Krishna and Axar Patel.
Among the batters, Ishan Kishan would hope to overcome a failure with a good knock, if he gets another chance in the middle.
After the 10-wicket drubbing in the series opener, Zimbabwe managed to reduce the margin of defeat in the second ODI, but to ensure a better result, it will have to play out of its skins.