High flying India aim for T20 domination against Zimbabwe

After an easy outing in the ODI series, Dhoni will give opportunities for Mandeep Singh, Jayant Yadav and Jaydev Unadkat who have warmed the bench till now. Zimbabwe will aim to give it all and put up some fight in the shortest format of the game and upset the visitor.

Zimbabwe has to put up a better show with the bat if it fancies any chances of scoring its first win against host, India.   -  AP

On a high after a sweeping the ODI series 3-0, the new-look India team led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni will aim to continue its domination when it takes on Zimbabwe in the first game of three-match T20I series here on Saturday.

The ODI series was thoroughly dominated by the young Indians, some of whom made their international debut. Opening batsman Lokesh Rahul, who was adjudged the man of the series, made the most of the opportunity while leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal starred with the ball.

But ahead of the T20I series, the host will take some encouragement from 2015, when it held India to a 1-1 draw in the T20I series. After an easy outing in the ODI series, Dhoni will give opportunities for Mandeep Singh, Jayant Yadav and Jaydev Unadkat who have warmed the bench till now.

Rahul, Pandey and Ambati Rayudu are almost certain in the T20I line-up. Faiz Fazal might edge out Karun Nair for the opener’s spot. Nair got to play in the first two ODIs, scoring 39 in the second game after failing in the first, but Fazal impressed in his first outing in international arena, scoring a half-century.

On the other hand, Zimbabwe, after surrendering to a dominant India in the ODI series, will aim to give it all and put up some fight in the shortest format of the game and upset the visitor. But the host suffered a blow when senior players Sean Williams and Craig Ervine were ruled out after suffering injuries during the ODIs.

Ervine injured his hamstring in the first ODI, while Williams, who replaced him for the second game, fractured his finger at training soon after the toss.

Tendai Chisoro and Tawanda Mupariwa, who were part of the ODI squad, have been left out, while the uncapped Tapiwa Mufudza earned a call-up.

Brian Chari and Tinotenda Mutombodzi, who last played an international game in late 2015, were also recalled, while Chamu Chibhabha, who last played T20Is in January, was picked following decent returns in the ODI series.

Among the notable omissions from the ICC World T20 squad, in which the Africans failed to qualify for the main round, are Tinashe Panyangara, out with a back injury, and Luke Jongwe.