Zimbabwe v India, 5th ODI, Bulawayo August 3, 2013

Brendan Taylor's torrid run

Plays of the day from the fifth ODI between Zimbabwe and India, in Bulawayo

The luck

Zimbabwe haven't had the best of luck in this series. Brendan Taylor has lost four tosses out of five, and having to bat first in tricky conditions has brought out the worst in the local batsmen. Hamilton Masakadza, though, enjoyed two slices of good fortune in one over from Jaydev Unadkat early on this morning. Umpire Owen Chirombe gave Masakadza the benefit of the doubt on a very tight lbw call, the ball having pitched in line with leg stump and struck the batsman on the back pad. Three balls later, Masakadza swished at one going across him and the Indians went up in unison as there appeared to have been a clear sound as ball passed bat on the way through to Dinesh Karthik. Again, however, Masakadza was given not out. Virat Kohli wandered up to the batsman to voice his displeasure, but Masakadza couldn't make his let-off count. Eight overs later, he chopped a cut off Ravindra Jadeja onto his own stumps to depart for 32.

The duck

Taylor's misfortune at the toss appears to have spread to his batting. The Zimbabwe captain, possibly the team's best batsman, waded through 10 runless deliveries before aiming a flat-footed drive at the 11th only to edge to slip and depart for a duck. Having also failed to score in the previous game and in the second ODI in Harare, Taylor's run-tally for the series stands at just 35 and his own poor form has exacerbated Zimbabwe's problems.

The let-off

Taylor's day got even worse when he fluffed what should have been a simple run-out chance. In the seventh over, Ajinkya Rahane nudged a length delivery from Kyle Jarvis towards mid-on and set off for a single. Dhawan, however, wasn't the slightest bit interested and both batsmen ended up at the same end. The ball was hurled towards Taylor in good time, but in his enthusiasm he dived forward and smashed the stumps empty handed. While Taylor hung his head in disappointment, Rahane would have been mighty relieved with the let-off. An early dismissal in something of an audition match might have proved quite a setback to a budding international career that hasn't quite kicked off yet. Instead, he was allowed to compile a neat fifty.

The record

Portly, balding and short, Amit Mishra doesn't immediately strike one as a record-breaker. Yet, with 18 wickets on this tour, he's equalled Javagal Srinath's record for the most dismissals in a bi-lateral series. The record should now, perhaps, actually belong to Mishra, as while Srinath achieved the feat in seven games against New Zealand in 2002-03 the legspinner has needed just five. It was fitting that Mishra took his sixth and final wicket with a googly that found Brian Vitori's outside edge - most of his wickets have come via the variation that Zimbabwe apparently find unreadable. With a record and a career-best haul in the bag, it's not a day that he'll quickly forget.

The drop

It's often said that Zimbabwe's strongest ever team was the one which plied its trade in the late 90s, and that their strongest suit was their fielding. Given the number of chances that have gone begging in this series, and the two that were missed in this match alone, one might argue that fielding is one area where Zimbabwe have really let things slip. Yet, a member of that 'glory years' team, Bryan Strang, turned up to watch this match and even he couldn't hold a catch today. Sitting under the trees on the Western side of the ground, Strang watched a six sail off Shikhar Dhawan's bat, rushed forward in an attempt to get to the chance, but couldn't quite get to it.

Liam Brickhill is a freelance journalist based in Cape Town

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ZCF on August 4, 2013, 11:55 GMT

    Something is going through Taylor's head. The window dressing is over so ZC's PR policy can survive chopping him as ODI&T20 captain. Hami&Vusi can step in, or perhaps a return to other regulars in the side who were far more successful in Elton&Utseya.

    The positive is that these glaring failures from both Taylor&Malcolm have raised sufficient questions about multiple duties of being top batsman+keeper, as well as our middle order. Which means trying other batting options like Chibhabha, Kasuza, Matsikenyeri, Kasteni, Zhuwao, plus keepers Mutumbami&Sauramba will be inevitable in the coming two series.

    ODI: Hami(c), Matsi, Taylor, Vusi(vc), Williams, Elton, Mutumbami(wk), Shingi, Utseya, Vitori, Mpofu

    T20: Hami(c), Matsi, Taylor, Raza, Elton(vc), Zhuwawo/Chibhabha, Sauramba(wk), Utseya, Vitori, Mpofu, Chatara

    TESTS: Mawoyo(vc), Matsi, Hami, Taylor(c), Vusi, Elton, Mutumbami(wk), Shingi, Utseya/Maruma, Jarvis/Vitori, Mpofu

    Reserves: Chibhabha, Kasuza, Kasteni, Mushangwe, Panyangara

  • Dummy4 on August 4, 2013, 2:31 GMT

    Even Ashwin has more variations and can turn the ball lot more.Mishra got so many wickets because of inexperience of zimbabwe.Had that been bangladesh or west-indies,he would not have got that many wickets.In tests,combo of Ashwin,Mishra and Jadeja will be the most variated and most able spin attack.Jadeja is a good batsman,ashwin can bat well and even mishra can contribute some runs,so these three will provide depth to our bowling also. I would prefer mishra to ashwin in T20s because giving some runs,he can take wickets which is more improtant in shorter form of the game.

  • Dummy4 on August 4, 2013, 2:25 GMT

    No problem Zimbabwe..Keep ur chins up and keep fighting...You will see good rsults...Dont forget this same Indian team lost 4-0 and 5-0 in tests....not long ago.

    From an Indian fan!

  • Dummy4 on August 4, 2013, 2:06 GMT

    The result of the tour was known even before the first ball was bowled. But it is perplexing to note that even against insignificant opponents we are not ready to experiment. AmitMishra's record is okay. But should we not have looked beyond individual record and given Rasool a chance With Ashwin around, he may not get a second chance. In all fairness, he should have at least played one match if not the last two.

  • Dummy4 on August 3, 2013, 18:35 GMT

    Taylor is supposed to be a good batsman... he's going through a bad patch, but its temporary... wish good days prevail again.... All the best.

  • Ashok on August 3, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    Yes Indeed, Mishra showed that there is a place in the XI for a RH leg spinner if he is good. Mishra let his record setting tally of wickets do the talking for him. A great performance after being benched in all the ICC Champions Trophy matches - Well done Mishra. If he keeps off bowling No-Balls & bowls to his field he should do well. Another great quality that deserves mentioning is Kohli pushing himself down to let the other members of his team take the centre stage. Hats off to Kohli for his another great play of the day!. That is one good quality needed in a Captain. Third play of the day was Chigumbura's early dismissal, thanks to Mishra, after his consistently good performance thru' this series. He is a fine Zimbabwe talent.

  • Dummy4 on August 3, 2013, 17:38 GMT

    was surprised the team management did not try Parvez Rasool for the match. When the series was already won, he should have got a go for atleast one match. All the players had played atleast one match on this trip, except him. Wonder why he wa picked in the first place if he was not to be tried.