Zimbabwe will be looking to make amends for their abject displays in the ODI series against India with an improved performance in the shortest form of the game at the Harare Sports Club on Saturday.
Match Betting Game Preview
The comprehensive nature with which India knocked over the Zimbabweans in the first two ODIs suggests a similar pattern is likely to unfold in the T20 series, and while this much-changed Indian side lacks experience on the international stage many of these new faces have played more limited overs matches in the IPL then they could care to mention.
India will miss Virat Kohli of course, who is statistically and undoubtedly the finest purveyor of T20 batting on the planet. He is currently resting, as are a number of the side’s more established names such as Shikhar Dhawan and Ravi Ashwin. But a tour here presents a fine opportunity to impress the board of selectors for the young guns selected in their place; for many of whom T20 is the default setting these days.
Zimbabwe themselves are struggling to overcome the loss of their talisman Brendan Taylor, whose runs helped prop up the nation when they were at their most hapless.
The fall-out from a pitiful World Cup showing cost coach Dav Whatmore and captain Hamilton Masakadza their jobs, and that has been compounded by the knowledge that the side has been beaten three times by Afghanistan and twice by Bangladesh in T20 matches in 2016 alone. In this format of the game against the established nations, their record reads W7 L32 – no further questions your honour.
Interestingly enough, the last time these two met in the short format it was actually Zimbabwe who came out on top, but can we read too much into that given the changes in personnel since then? Perhaps not.
No country plays more T20 cricket than India, and it shows in the development of their young lions: Karun Nair, Lokesh Rahul and Ambati Rayadu – all in the squad here – scored bags of runs in this year’s IPL, while Yuzvendra Chahal and Dhawal Kulkarni were a couple of wickets each away from winning the Purple Cap.
Betting Tip: So we have to expect this exciting young Indian side to come out on top here, which can be backed at 1.14 with Bet365.
Top Batsmen Betting Picks
The ODI series is a good marker as to current form, and knowing the nick that Rayadu was in heading into this series it is no surprise to see him enjoying life in Zimbabwe with 62* and 41* being his contributions thus far.
He is just starting to make a name for himself worldwide as something of a T20 powerhouse, and he’ll have no better opportunity of showing his mettle than he does here. At 4.00 with Betfair, Rayadu is well worth backing as India’s top scorer.
Zimbabwe’s best performance at the recent T20 World Cup was an 11-run triumph over Scotland (yes, that’s how slim the pickings were). That win was achieved largely thanks to a knock of 53 from Sean Williams, who is currently nursing a finger injury.
Betting Pick: So, it may be left to Vusi Sibanda at 4.33 with Betfair to pick up the slack for his side; he crafted an elegant 53 in the second ODI.
Other Bet Tips
Bookmakers are slow to pick up any interest in this game and that’s likely to be because of the one sided nature of the three ODIs. Kulkarni as India’s top bowler is a strong option if they decide to declare a market so do check back on the morning of the game.
Betting Tip: For now, although there is the chance that the shorter format will level things up, India should continue their dominance in this T20 series. Back India to win and return a modest profit.
In the News
 thehindu.com, India eyes fight back against revived Zimbabwe, 2016