Crunch match: Skipper Rohit and team ready to fire against Zimbabwe
MELBOURNE: Skipper Rohit Sharma will look to feast on a Zimbabwe bowling attack in his bid to play an innings that is long overdue in a must-win game of the T20 World Cup here on Sunday.
With Virat Kohli in imperious form and other top-order batters such as KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav also playing impactful knocks each, the Indian captain (74 runs in 4 games) is in line to play one of his little gems on a ground where he has scored multiple white ball hundreds.
Rohit has been playing some good shots but save the game against the Netherlands, he hasn’t fired much in other games. He is too good a player to not get those booming sixes going his way.
Exactly two weeks ago, the MCG witnessed an epic Indo-Pak clash and an innings of a lifetime from Kohli but the match against Zimbabwe is no less important as a victory will clear the pathway to the last four stage.
In that context, the match against Zimbabwe is a must-win game for the Indian team, which is an overwhelming favourite to pummel Regis Chakabva’s side whose campaign started in style but tapered off towards the end.
Zimbabwe’s batting hasn’t exactly fired and against the current Indian attack, it would be difficult for it to put up a stellar show as Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh and Mohammed Shami have been on the money.
While the Indian team has not tinkered much with the batting order, Axar Patel was dropped against South Africa because of the multiple left-handed players in its line-up.
With Craig Ervine, Sean Ervine, Ryan Burl and Sean Williams in the Zimbabwean batting line-up, there is a possibility that the team management might once again use Deepak Hooda in the line-up like the Proteas game.
However, the biggest threat for India will be Pakistan-born Sikandar Raza, who is in the midst of a dream 2022 season and would like to finish the tournament on a high.
The other option will be to use Harshal Patel, the second seam bowling all-rounder, who can be used to keep the solidity of the lower middle order.
The reason why Yuzvendra Chahal, a bowler of immense calibre, isn’t being played is because the team doesn’t want the tail to be longer than it already is at the moment.
Zimbabwe and India have never met in T20 World Cups over the years but a recent white-ball tour of the African nation has certainly given the coaching staff enough data to figure out its strategy.