Zimbabwe v India, 2nd ODI, Harare July 26, 2013

Dhawan, Karthik set up comfortable win


India 294 for 8 (Dhawan 116, Karthik 69) beat Zimbabwe 236 for 9 (Sibanda 55, Utseya 52*, Unadkat 4-41) by 58 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Zimbabwe were expected to provide stiffer opposition to India if the toss went in their favour. It did, and twice, once each with ball and bat, Zimbabwe were in dominating positions. Holding on to them was something different, though, and both times, they fell apart, first against Shikhar Dhawan and Dinesh Karthik, and then, via a batting collapse.

Zimbabwe's bowlers had a clear opportunity to embarrass India, who realised how difficult it was to bat first at Harare Sports Club with the 9am start. Four of their top five batsmen had fallen cheaply, but the one who hadn't, Dhawan, made Zimbabwe pay for letting him get away three times. Dhawan made his third century in 17 ODIs, and revived India in a 167-run fifth-wicket partnership with Karthik, who made only his second fifty after comeback.

Had the Zimbabwe quicks shown more control, and had their fielders caught better, India would have been in a bigger hole. Dhawan played possibly the most charmed innings of his short international career. He was caught behind off a Kyle Jarvis no-ball when on 3, dropped by the wicketkeeper off the same bowler when on 14 and handed a third life on 70 when deep square leg misjudged what should have been a straightforward catch. To his credit, Dhawan did not let anything loose go waste despite all the wickets and all the chances.

Apart from sending down numerous wides and no-balls, Zimbabwe often bowled on the pads to Dhawan, who picked up several boundaries through the leg side - pulling, whipping, nudging and lofting. Just after the costly no-ball to Dhawan, Jarvis conceded four leg-byes, and also gave the batsman overpitched deliveries outside off stump, which were driven for fours.

Dhawan was losing partners quickly, though. The same batsmen who could have hardly been bothered in the chase on Wednesday were made to struggle. The new balls swung, seamed, bounced, and skidded. Brian Vitori struck with his first ball, after having been left out in the first game. Rohit Sharma, having said just before his 100th ODI started that one needed to be careful against the new balls as an opener, chased a widish good length ball, and edged to slip.

Virat Kohli, coming off a match-winning hundred, looked largely solid before he pushed Jarvis to mid-on, departing in anger after twice asking for the third umpire to check whether the ball had carried. Ambati Rayudu was brought crashing down from his debut half-century in a painful 25-ball existence during which he was put down by the bowler Vitori and was beaten on numerous occasions. For once, Suresh Raina - who has made no secret of his desire to bat up the order - had plenty of overs, but nudged his 11th delivery down the leg side to the keeper.

At 65 for 4, Dhawan looked intent to make good use of his lives and Karthik was in superb touch. Unlike the top order, Karthik left deliveries for a while outside off and waited for the bad balls. Both Dhawan and Karthik ensured the lone spinner, Prosper Utseya, was taken for runs.

India's charge was arrested suddenly when Karthik was run out after a mix-up in the 43rd over, and Dhawan dragged an attempted sweep onto his stumps in the 44th. Zimbabwe were to pay for their slow over-rate, though. Taylor used Sean Williams' part-time spin for the last over, which was taken for 23 by Vinay Kumar and Mohammed Shami.

Zimbabwe pushed India with the bat as well early, but again, could not hold onto a strong position. And once more, it was Vusi Sibanda who threw away another start after dominating the bowlers with powerful hits. Four balls later, Brendan Taylor ran himself out. Soon, it became a flood. Williams, Hamilton Masakadza and Malcolm Waller fell to the spinners to make it 133 for 6.

Only a few overs ago, Sibanda was pulling boundaries at will as India's quick bowlers overdid the short ball on a pitch which had eased out considerably. Vinay Kumar, in particular, was targetted. Sibanda's second-wicket partnership with Masakadza was worth 64 at close to seven an over and the India bowlers were looking flat.

The situation quickly changed when Unadkat was brought back in the 21st over. Sibanda, who had reached his fifty off 57, immediately went after him, but mishit to midwicket. Panic set in with Taylor's run-out, and Zimbabwe had only themselves to blame for a big defeat, though Prosper Utseya and Elton Chigumbura reduced the margin.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • shankar on July 28, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    I do not see why Indian team needs Vinay Kumar. I can safely say that there are 100s of Vinay Kumars in Indian domestic teams. 27 years old, Mediocre pace, not much swing, poor batting ability. I mean, he bats at 10 and can't take wickets. India might as well drop him and play someone like Vijay Zol, Smason from U-19 team and give them international experience.

  • Dummy4 on July 27, 2013, 13:36 GMT

    might be worthwhile to drop rohit and take pujara in his place. drop vinay and try mohit and rest either one of raina or jadeja and try parvez rasool in that spot. if we win the third one, drop shikhar and use rahane and pujara to open. these are more like for like replacements

  • Sai on July 27, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    I think with the series 2-0 up, it's time for Pujara and Mohit Sharma to be given chances in place of Raina and Vinay Kumar. As for Rohit, I would say just keep giving him chances till the end of this series, he's learning and he knows better than anyone else what mistakes he's making, i.e. swinging at balls too wide.

    And Zimbabwe should be proud of their effort, if they had not dropped Dhawan early on and given away too many runs in the last over, they could have restricted India to 240 max, which could have definitely been chased. They are an improving team, are Zimbabwe, they may pull off a surprise soon!

  • Dummy4 on July 27, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    india is number 1 in world cricket they were play unbleiveble cricket and in miss MSDHONI.

  • Dummy4 on July 27, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    ples drob tht rohit...nd brng pujara ....unadkat looks lik a good replacement fr ishant in odi's..unadkat's angle nd varations r difficult to hit.....evn was good in ipl..nd raina ples don't promote urself we need u in d endng overs....all people who r critisizing him to get dropped...guyzz if he gets dropped thn india will be in prblems..also brng mohith sharma...................

  • Narayanan on July 27, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    True fact as Dhawan himself said that he was fortunate to be dropped on three occasions, Else even Imagining India get past 200 could have been a dream.

  • Swastik on July 27, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    It would be absolute nonsense to drop *Raina* to give a chance to Pujara. It would be tantamount to not giving Pujara a chance at all. Pujara needs to be in your top 3 because that's where he belongs. Right now, in ODIs, those three are crucial positions, too. We've somehow been made to understand that Rohit is performing well as an opener. I say it's time to drop him from the ODI team forever. He does NOT perform. He's the Ishant Sharma of batting. Just keeps his place somehow, and makes ~25 runs sometimes.

    We should just go with Gambhir, Dhawan, Pujara, Kohli, Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuvi, Unadkat, Shami/Mohit as a first XI for us. It's *very* strong. You can swap Gambhir with Tiwary or Rayudu and push Pujara to open, Kohli at #3 and Tiwary/Rayudu at #4 if you don't want Gambhir. However, Gambhir was our second best batsman in ODIs for a long time. Tests, somehow, were a different story, but he should be able to find a place in ODIs.

  • Manesh on July 27, 2013, 4:59 GMT

    It is the time to replace Vinay and Shami with Mohit and Rasool. 2 Pace bowlers will be enough in ZIM pitches.

  • Alex on July 27, 2013, 3:15 GMT

    People people let me tell you interesting truth. Every one have highs and lows. Dawan is OX in chinese astrology and they are having good time last 1 year. Soon bad thing start to happen..he was no body before ..will be no body later..nothing to with his personal ability. Its all about luck. That said i like his new approach of being aggressive...when you are aggressive luck favors. But i like DK because he plays too many pure shot , its like hitting perfect 7 iron or hitting driver in sweet spot. Dk problem is always been he gets out wrong time. He has to be selfish more. He is too unselfish thats what his downfall. you can not be nice with every one. No need to show off your skills every time..Need to be aggressive in singles. Because opposite side is better. No need to invent shot every time DK. Make centuries or another young guy will take ur spot soon.

  • venkatasubramanian on July 27, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    Posted by Venkat Sraman(July 27,2013) It is a good consecutive victory for India wherein Shikar Dhawan and Dinesh Karthik came to our rescue after a disastrous start against Zimbabwe.May be other players must be given chance in the remaining matches so that they will also be exposed in the international circuit and gain experience.