ZIM vs IND: Key takeaways from the ODI series
India scripted a thrilling 13-run win over Zimbabwe to clinch the series 3-0 on Monday. Shubman Gill (130) was the show-stopper as India rallied to a 290-run total. Zimbabwe fell out of the chase despite a Sikandar Raza show (276/10). Overall, the series had plenty of positives for Team India besides a few questionable decisions. We look at the takeaways.
Gill needs an extended run at the top
Gill has cashed in on each of the one-dayers since the West Indies tour. His scores read 64, 43, 98*, 82*, 33, and 130. He plays the ball as per merit and has the credentials of a potential great in 50-overs cricket. A lengthy run at the top-order, and one could find Gill in the India squad for the 2023 World Cup.
Rahul more suited for middle-order
Prior to the series, Rahul hadn't played an international for over six months. Regardless, a lot was expected of him, given his competence as a white-ball cricketer. He managed scores of 1(5) and 30(46) in the second and third ODIs as an opener. Perhaps, he should bat down the order just like before and score quick runs for the Men in Blue.
Ruturaj, Tripathi warmed the bench
Ruturaj Gaikwad's numbers in List A need a mention. The Pune-born has belted 3,284 runs at an average and a strike rate of 54.73 and 100.09, respectively. Nonetheless, the top-order batter had to warm the bench for the entire series. Rahul Tripathi wasn't given game time either. He wasn't considered for the Playing XI in Ireland T20Is despite a solid show in IPL.
Chahar returns with a bang
Deepak Chahar hadn't played competitive cricket since February owing to injury. However, the right-arm seamer meant business straightaway. He trapped Innocent Kaia and Tadiwanashe Marumani in back-to-back overs and wound up with 3/27 in the first ODI. He was rested for the second outing but followed with figures worth 2/75. Chahar's performance is happening news for India from an Asia Cup perspective.
Kuldeep back to his vintage self
It was heartening to see Kuldeep Yadav deliver the goods in Zimbabwe one-dayers. The Chinaman was pretty economical on his ODI return after six months. He snared figures worth 0/36 in 10 overs, including a maiden. He bagged 1/49 and 2/38 in the next two matches. It would have been a morale-boosting series for Kuldeep as he seeks a long rope in limited-overs cricket.
Axar maturing with each series
Axar Patel has posted clinical shows over the last few months. The Zimbabwe tour was no different. The slow left-arm orthodox emerged as the highest wicket-taker, managing six wickets at 12.33. He is growing as a white-ball specialist with each passing series.
Samson gaining eye-balls with clutch numbers
Sanju Samson came up with a sensible 39-ball 43* in the second ODI. The knock guided India to a five-wicket win and helped the visitors take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. He's putting his clutch gene to notice. We could very well see him feature in the India squad in their next ODI series.