Zimbabwe vs. India: Winners and Losers from 1st ODI
India began their tour of Zimbabwe in fine form as they chased down a victory target of 229 in some style.
Zimbabwe were always on the back foot after losing the toss and being asked to bat first on a tough wicket in Harare. They did not score at a quick enough rate and failed to contain India captain Virat Kohli.
With a 1-0 lead in the five-match series, India are well placed to press on. We've picked out some winners and losers from the opening contest. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section.
Winner: Sikandar Raza
Sikandar Raza came into the match with an ODI average of a mere 21, but he showed why the Zimbabwe selectors are keen to have him in the team with a composed 82.
Raza lost partners along the way, but he did not panic and helped up the rate from the 30th over onwards.
His efforts may have been in vain, but his six fours and two sixes showed he can score quickly as well as be an accumulator of runs, which bodes well for a side still struggling to make a mark against the better teams in world cricket.
Winner: Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli is seen as the heir apparent to the India captaincy, and with MS Dhoni not in the side on account of injury, he was handed the reins in Harare.
He managed his bowling options pretty well. More importantly, he did not look weighed down by the added responsibility while at the crease.
Kohli is one of the most in-form players in the game at this moment in time and he manipulated the bowling with ease. His brilliant 115 was his 15th ODI century and he is the fastest player to that landmark.
Winner: Ambati Rayudu
As a teenager, it is probably part flattering, part disconcerting to be compared to the great Sachin Tendulkar. That was exactly what Ambati Rayudu had to contend with while coming through the ranks of India’s National Cricket Academy in 2001.
His career stalled somewhat and it looked like he would never fulfil his potential, but he was picked up by the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League and it sparked a revival in fortunes.
He was handed a place in the squad for the Zimbabwe tour. His international debut came in the opening game of the series, at the age of 27.
Rayudu will never scale the heights of Tendulkar, but he made a fine start with an unbeaten half-century on debut.
Loser: Tinotenda Mutombodzi
Having impressed with the ball on his ODI debut against the West Indies, Tinotenda Mutombodzi was brought down to earth with a thud one game later.
The 22-year-old’s leg-breaks were treated with disdain by Virat Kohli and Ambati Rayudu. His 7.5 overs cost him 65 runs at an economy of 8.29, with one over going for 20 runs.
Loser: Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina went in at the interval with a broad smile on his face as he claimed a wicket in his only over of the Zimbabwe innings. However, he will have ended the match in a far glummer mood as his innings lasted two balls.
Having been sat in the changing room watching Virat Kohli and Ambati Rayudu put on a 159-run partnership, Raina strode out with 13 runs needed for victory. He strode back two balls later with India still requiring 13 runs after chipping a catch to Sikandar Raza at extra cover.