With Virat Kohli in imperious form and other hitters of the highest order such as KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav also playing high-impact punches each, the Indian captain (74 runs in 4 games) is lining up to take one of his gems. playing on a field where he has scored several white ball hundreds.
Rohit has had some good shots but save the game against the Netherlands, he hasn’t shot much in other games. He’s too good a player not to let those thumping sixes have his way.
Just 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 win will pave the way for the final four stages.
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In that context, the match against Zimbabwe is a match to be won for the Indian team, who are the runaway favorites to beat the squad of Regis Chakabva whose campaign started in style but dwindled towards the end.
Zimbabwe’s percussion didn’t really fire and against the current Indian onslaught, it would be hard for them to put on a great show as Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh and Mohammed Shami were on the money.
The only man in the Indian bowling attack who would expect to put on a battering show than he has so far is R Ashwin, who has been steady but not extraordinary.
A win will put India in Group 2 pole position, but a loss could pave the way for Pakistan, who advance to the semi-finals if they beat Bangladesh in their final Super 12 match with a better net run rate.
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South Africa, currently in second place with five points, will also make it to the Netherlands with a win, but if they lose and Pakistan win, the latter will advance to the last four along with India.
If India finishes at the top, they will face England or Australia in the semi-finals.
If England beat Sri Lanka on Saturday, India will travel to Adelaide to meet Jos Buttler’s men, but if Sri Lanka win, the Men In Blue will have to head to Sydney to meet Australia, who would sneak into the final four stages.
While the Indian squad hasn’t tinkered much with the batting order, Axar Patel was dropped against South Africa due to the multiple left-handed players in their lineup.
With Craig Ervine, Sean Ervine, Ryan Burl and Sean Williams in the Zimbabwe batting lineup, there is a possibility that team management would use Deepak Hooda in the lineup again, as in the Proteas game.
India’s biggest threat, however, will be Pakistan-born Sikandar Raza, who is in the midst of a 2022 dream season and eager to finish the tournament on a climax.
The other option is to use Harshal Patel, the second seam bowling all-rounder, which can be used to maintain the solidity of the lower middle class.
The reason Yuzvendra Chahal, a bowler of immense caliber, is not played is because the team management does not want the tail to be longer than it already is.
But given that India could most likely face England in the semi-finals, Chahal could have been used as he has a good match record against the English batters.
Zimbabwe and India have never met in the 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 determine their strategy.
Although it was an ODI tour and India’s top T20 players did not play in that series, the core of the Zimbabwe team is the same.
If they had won against the Netherlands, they would have had another chance from outside to remain relevant in the competition.
But Zimbabwe has done one thing in this T20 World Cup and that is act as party poopers for Pakistan, who are on the brink of elimination as South Africa plays their final game against the Netherlands.
The average par score in this T20 World Cup is in the range of 155 to 160 but India’s batting order would like to give an imposing display in case they bat first and reach nearly 200 runs.
Although India has won three of the four matches, Rohit and Rahul want to give the team a strong start in the Powerplay overs, which will automatically give them an advantage going into the semi-finals.
India: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (Vice Captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rishabh PantDepak Hooda, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Zimbabwe: Regis Chakabva (Captain), Sean Williams, Sean Ervine, Craig Ervine, Sikandar Raza, Tendai Chatara, Luke Jongwe, Brad Evans, Wesley Madhevere, Wellington Masakdazka, Tony Munyonga, Richard Ngarava, Blessing Muzarabani, Multon Shumba.
Start race: 1:30 PM (IST)