Zimbabwe v India, 4th ODI, Bulawayo August 1, 2013

Another all-too-easy victory for India


India 145 for 1 (Raina 65*, Rohit 64*) beat Zimbabwe 144 (Chigumbura 50*, Mishra 3-25) by nine wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

India have had little to complain about on this tour. The series was sealed at the earliest possible opportunity, and their other target of trying out some fringe players is also working well. Ambati Rayudu made a big contribution on his debut, another new face Jaydev Unadkat was the bowling star in the second ODI and the third India player to debut this series, Mohit Sharma, turned in an impressive performance as Zimbabwe were rolled over for 144 in the fourth ODI.

One of their minor gripes could be that Cheteshwar Pujara's much-awaited bow in limited-overs cricket didn't go to plan, with Pujara inside-edging Tendai Chatara for 13. They would have also liked this second-string squad to have been tested more by Zimbabwe, who have been disappointingly limp, rarely putting India under pressure.

In Harare, Zimbabwe's batsmen could at least fall back on the excuse that the new balls curved around extravagantly in the first hour but even against the easier conditions in Bulawayo they came up short. Zimbabwe's troubles were highlighted by the first ball itself, as Mohit served up a beauty that beat Vusi Sibanda and zipped perilously close to the top of the stumps.

Mohit has played only six domestic one-dayers so far, but he showed no nerves in his opening over as he delivered an inswinger, outswinger and a bouncer, all with superb control. He beat the inside-edge and the outside-edge regularly in his opening spell, and even showed off the back-of-the-hand slower ball which served him so well in his spotlight-grabbing IPL season this year.

As ever, Zimbabwe's openers were cagey at the start, with Sibanda taking 16 deliveries to get off the mark. Mohit, with the experience of only six domestic one-dayers, showed no nerves as he maintained a tight line and length with the new ball, before his persistent probing was rewarded with the wicket of Sikandar Raza, nicking through to the keeper.

Zimbabwe then began to be more adventurous despite the disciplined bowling, with Hamilton Masakadza effortlessly whipping Mohammed Shami over square leg for six. Just as the partnership was developing, Ravindra Jadeja's accurate arm struck again, with a bullet throw to the stumps that left Masakadza repenting attempting a quick single.

The introduction of spin hampered Zimbabwe further, as Jadeja extended Brendan Taylor's horror run. Taylor hasn't been in form this year, and was mortified to be adjudged lbw for a duck to a delivery that was clearly sliding down. In the next over, Jaydev Unadkat knocked over Sean Williams' off stump after the batsman missed a straight one. When Jadeja removed the opener Sibanda in the 16th over, Zimbabwe were in serious trouble and India's most dangerous bowler of the series, Amit Mishra, hadn't come on to bowl yet.

Elton Chigumbura has been Zimbabwe's most successful batsman this series, and once again he was called on to right things after the specialist batsmen floundered. With the help of Malcolm Waller, he defied India for over 20 overs, generally playing it safe though there were some eye-catching strokes like the powerful loft over Mishra's head for four. Waller also took his time before latching on to the loose deliveries on offer, like a flighted full toss from Mishra that was swatted for four. With the batting Powerplay taken, Waller swung a shortish ball from Shami for six and Zimbabwe looked for a late flourish.

There was no late flourish, however, as Mohit returned to break the 80-run stand, getting Waller to edge behind. The innings didn't last too long after that as Zimbabwe's tail was clueless against Mishra, but it lasted long enough for Chigumbura to complete a well-made half-century.

Zimbabwe's 144 was never going to be much of a challenge for India, who took their time in completing the win. Pujara departed early, and the team management wisely decided against sending in the in-form Virat Kohli, giving Suresh Raina the chance to spend some time in the middle. Rohit Sharma has also had a lean run in this series, and he cashed in at a venue which must rank among his favourites - his only two previous innings for India at the Queens Sports Club were centuries. He added an unbeaten 64 to that, and Raina too helped himself to a half-century as the pair put on 122 to complete another all-too-easy victory for India.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Al on August 2, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    It will be a criminal waste of talent if team management does not give a chance to Rasool and Rahane in the 5th ODI. There's nothing at stake in the 5th ODI. This series was meant to test our bench strength. If not now, then when ?? Against South Africa ??

  • Naresh on August 2, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    @grahaam - Zimbabwe can be proud that some of their best past players have made a mark in the international arena right now - certainly something to cherish. To name a few:- Andy Flower, Duncan Fletcher, Steven Penny, Mbangwa in coaching and commentating. The past was glorious and I hope that politics does not destroy the future.

  • Nirmal on August 2, 2013, 12:03 GMT

    My playing Eleven for the last match: 1) Rahane 2 ) Dhawan 3) Kohli 4) Pujara 5) Rayudu 6) Karthik 7) Rasool 8) Mishra 9) Unadkat 10) Shami 11) MM Sharma. My Man of the series is Amit Mishra.

  • RAJARAMAN on August 2, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    Everybody in the bench cannot be tested in one series ... Rahane had to wait for ages to get a debut ... let us assume Rasool is picked and gets 6 wickets .. so what? Ashwin and Mishra will be the first choices in near future ... and... when they fail ... the bowlers who are hot at that time will be picked ... even if Rasool is picked now, he will only get the satisfaction of having played for India ... which is a great achievement ... agreed ... more than that ... Rasool should be consistent in his performance in future domestic tournaments ... that only will keep him in the reckoning ...

  • venkatasubramanian on August 2, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    Posted by Venkat Sraman(August 2,2013) It was an easy win for Team India,which maintained the supremacy in ODI format,in the fourth ODI match against Zimbabwe.Debutant,Mohit Sharma,bowled impressively well to capture two wickets that enabled India to restrict Zimbabwe within 150.R.Jadeja and A.Mishra also bowled well in the process.Our boys scored the required runs by losing one wicket.

  • Dummy4 on August 2, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    @mahi6878,@eee655,i am happy both of u responded to my comments. both of u spoke my mind out. 1]stats never give u a complete picture,2] with current rules, odi cricket is back 2 90's way of playing. I am a big admirer of sachin since age of 9 & after his retirement, rohit reminds me of him in terms of flair.Ppl criticse rohit for his temperament, but u all will agree that players who played test cricket first automatically paced their innings in ODI as well.Take for example kohli,dhawan[sea change after his test debut,compared 2 his odi debut in 2011].Conversely, look at yuvi, saeed anwar, raina who could not adapt 2 test cricket despite being fine one day players.

  • Altaf on August 2, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    It was earlier told that 5 ODIs against Zim are too much, instead they could have extended earlier ODI series against Pak from 3 to 5 matches.

  • Manesh on August 2, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    Congrats to young guys. Nice display by youngsters. Hope Kohli will give chance to others too. Mohit, Unad are the best findings considering the fact that India do not have good fast bowlers. No need to argue with some one who do not know what happened to SA recently and what happened when India last toured there.

  • Dummy4 on August 2, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    @grahaam I fully endorse your views & may your hope come true to see redeveloped Zimbabweans. @9ST9 RPS is the magical place where only 2 teams are sure of win & one of them is home team. You scared about worst Weather in Colombo would favour South Africa if rain curtailed today's T20 game against SL. You termed South Africa as 5-6 over scenarios a side that can produce a few random slogs prosper since SL play a calculated T20 game & they need the full quota to succeed. Now tell me who is calculative? Success doesn't count a great victory, alien conditions, fearsome opponents, very absorbing series or calculative conditions. What is wrong to share our top team's experience with team like ZIM instead of bashing them as anybody's cup of tea? Playing the 5 days of a test match at 5 different venues is not an answer of my question that 50% of 8 tour matches should be played on favorable RPS only.

  • Graham on August 2, 2013, 8:36 GMT

    The Zimbabwe cricket situation is in-line with the crisis situations that prevail throughout Zimbabwe in general. This problem will now degenerate as the international community do nothing about the dictatorship that has once again "rigged" election results to maintain their grip on all things in the country. Had the opposition rightly been given a chance to rule the country then cricket too may have benefited, equal opportunities for all may well have seen a return of a skilled farming community providing work , schooling and platform for new cricket clubs and leagues that used to excist and provided Zimbabwe some great players. ZC administration too may well have been affected positively and encouraged other sides to provide more opposition to assist redevelopment. We all live in hope but this election result is a major blow for all Zimbabweans