The series was drawn 1-1, but there were some positives and areas of concern for the Indian cricket team. We take a look at the players who stood out and the ones who failed to live up to expectations.
Axar Patel picked four wickets and conceded only 40 runs in the two games he played. The left-arm spinner was very street-smart with his approach and made those little adjustments to come out on top in the cruel format. He used his faster-ones smartly and didn’t shy away from making the late changes in line and length to outsmart the batsmen. While the first game – he picked 4/17 – was very fruitful for the youngster, he showed good application in the second one where Zimbabwe were cruising in the middle overs. He not only dried up the flow of runs but picked the crucial wicket of Sean Williams.
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Robin Uthappa wasn’t quite there during the three-match ODI series. The wicketkeeper-batsman managed only 44 runs, including a duck, and was under some pressure going into the T20Is. The attacking right-hander played with a lot of freedom in the first T20I and top scored for the visitors with a brisk and unbeaten 39. In the second T20I, he was winning the game on his own before Williams’ brilliant return-catch ended his innings. Uthappa scored a 25-ball 42 and hit nine glorious boundaries in the process. If not ODI, the T20Is turned out to be a good series for the 29-year-old.
Sandeep Sharma, who made his debut in the series, was very ordinary during the two games he played. The Punjab seamer was wayward with his lines and had very little control. After poor figures of 0/34 (three overs) in the first game, Sandeep returned with another ordinary spell of 1/39 in the second. The youngster was all over the place and failed to produce the consistency he used to do during the IPL. Debut nerves? Quite possible but given the competition in Indian cricket, it’s very important for a youngster to make the most when opportunity comes his way.
Kedar Jadhav stole the show during the third ODI where he smoked a brilliant hundred (105*) to help India sweep series 3-0. Going into the T20Is, the middle-order batsman had form and momentum on his side. However, he failed to make use of either of them during the two matches played in Harare. Scores of 9 and 5 where he had decent amount of overs to bat weren’t the kind of outings expected from a batsman in form.