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Jaiswal's position key as India eyes Zimbabwe series win

This selection dilemma arises as India seeks to integrate members of their World Cup-winning squad into the playing XI.

News Arena Network - Harare - UPDATED: July 9, 2024, 02:01 AM - 4 mins read

Indian batter Yashaswi Jaiswal in action. File photo.

Jaiswal's position key as India eyes Zimbabwe series win

Indian batter Yashaswi Jaiswal in action. File photo.


India faces a crucial decision ahead of their third T20 International against Zimbabwe on Wednesday: Yashasvi Jaiswal’s dazzling strokeplay or Abhishek Sharma’s composed aggression at the top.

 

This selection dilemma arises as India seeks to integrate members of their World Cup-winning squad into the playing XI.

 

The inclusion of Jaiswal, Sanju Samson, and Shivam Dube, all pivotal in India’s recent triumph, adds depth to the team in what could be the decisive match of the series.

 

India’s emphatic 100-run victory in the second match has set the stage for a thrilling encounter as they look to clinch the series.

 

Opener dilemma: Jaiswal or Abhishek?

 

Abhishek Sharma, the left-handed opener, made a strong case with his 46-ball century in just his second game, showcasing his potential at the top of the order.

However, Jaiswal, with a remarkable strike rate of over 161 in 17 T20I matches, including a hundred and four half-centuries, is the frontrunner for the opening slot alongside skipper Shubman Gill. His consistent performances make him the first-choice reserve opener for India.

Dropping a batter after a standout performance is not unheard of in cricket. Examples include Manoj Tiwary being benched after his maiden ODI hundred in 2011 and Karun Nair after his triple century in 2016.

Nevertheless, Gill is unlikely to sideline his long-time friend Jaiswal, who scored his first international ton using Gill’s bat.

Lineup adjustments on the cards

A probable scenario could see one of the southpaws, Jaiswal or Abhishek, batting at one drop. Sanju Samson, usually at No. 3 for Rajasthan Royals, might slot in at No. 5, while Ruturaj Gaikwad, who batted at No. 3, could drop to No. 4.

In terms of changes, Jaiswal is expected to replace B Sai Sudharsan, who was included only for the first two matches.

Samson will likely take the place of Dhruv Jurel, who impressed behind the stumps.

Dube, a key player in the T20 World Cup XI, is poised to replace Riyan Parag, potentially posing a significant challenge to Zimbabwe’s spinners in the latter stages of the innings.


Zimbabwe's struggle with the bat

Zimbabwe’s batting lineup has struggled, posting modest scores of 115 and 134 in their two games. The Harare Sports Club pitch offers extra bounce for spinners, a condition exploited by Ravi Bishnoi (6/24 from 8 overs) and Washington Sundar (3/39 in 8 overs), who have been difficult to play against.

 

Bishnoi, known for his effective googlies and varied pace, has kept Zimbabwe’s top batter Sikandar Raza in check, exposing the frailties of the rest of the lineup.

 

India's wake-up call and resurgence

 

The unexpected 13-run defeat in the series opener served as a wake-up call for the young Indian side.

 

They responded well in the second match, showing resilience and strategic nous by playing without five specialist bowlers, turning batting first into an advantage.

 

For skipper Shubman Gill, a solid score is vital after two low-scoring outings.

 

Gill, a player of immense talent, is unlikely to falter thrice, which could spell trouble for Zimbabwe’s bowlers, who lack express pace.

 

Anticipation for a dominant performance

 

All signs point towards another dominant performance by India. The team’s depth and recent form make them favorites to secure the series win, potentially setting the stage for a lopsided contest.

 

Teams (from):

 

India: Shubman Gill (captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Abhishek Sharma, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson (wk), Shivam Dube, Rinku Singh, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar, Riyan Parag, Dhruv Jurel, Khaleel Ahmed, Tushar Deshpande.

 

Zimbabwe: Sikandar Raza (captain), Faraz Akram, Brian Bennett, Johnathan Campbell, Tendai Chatara, Luke Jongwe, Innocent Kaia, Clive Madande, Wessly Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Wellington Masakadza, Brandon Mavuta, Blessing Muzarabani, Dion Myers, Antum Naqvi, Richard Ngarava, Milton Shumba.

 

Match Starts at 4:30 pm IST.

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