After a very disheartening performance even by the standards of a side ranked 10th in the ICC ODI Rankings, Zimbabwe had pride at stake and to play for in their 3rd and last ODI against the visiting Indian cricket team, who opted to send their second best side to Zimbabwe and yet the hosts were found troubled by a rather inexperienced Indian side – which speaks volumes of the current state of cricket in the country.

The comments from their coach in Makhaya Ntini do no good but demotivate the players even further; it’s time for some preventive measures to ensure that such mediocre performances aren’t repeated but the 3rd ODI was another sad tail for Zimbabwe.

The toss was won the hosting side and at least that’s something that worked in their favor in the all-important match for them. The Zimbabweans made a no. of changes coming into the match – bringing in Waller, Maruma, Mupariwa, Madziva and Tiripano. While the winning Indian side decided to make only one change which was to give the 30 year old Faizal a chance in place of Karun Nair.

The problem for Zimbabwe through the series has been the inability to form partnerships in the crucial middle overs and the top order had thus far in the last 2 ODI’s failed to deliver a strong opening stand. In the 3rd ODI, the opening stand could make only a mere 19 runs before the hard-hitting Masakadza departed back to the pavilion.

Chibhabha with Sibanda looked like showing vital signs of fighting hard against tough seaming conditions but it wasn’t long before Chibhabha got out to Chahal caught off Bumrah for a 66 ball 27.

At 55-2, Zimbabwe got another 20ish partnership going between Sibanda and Maruma but once Sibanda fell for 38 off 71 – the sorry tale for Zimbabwe was unstoppable and it was yet another case of losing wickets in form of pack of cards; batsmen coming into the middle and going back in no time – the application shown was absolutely poor and very alarming for the Zimbabwe fans who want the state of cricket to improve in the nation.

8,0,4,0,10,1,2,8 – no, it’s not a phone number but the scorecard of Zimbabwe’s middle and lower middle order which highlights their immense trouble in run-scoring even against an inexperienced Indian bowling unit – no credit to be taken away though; Bumrah bowled in the right areas and got 4 scalps. Zimbabwe was bowled out for a mediocre 123 in 42.2 overs.

For an in-form Indian batting side, the score of 123 was never going to be challenging and what was to be seen was only that in what time the target is achieved and at the fall of how many wickets. Another interesting aspect for the Indian fans was to see how the debutant Fazal went.

Fazal initially showed some signs of nerves but with the usual left-hander elegance to his game, Fazal was soon starting to find it easy to time the ball and find the gaps to make some runs in this crucial match of his career- representing the Indian team for the first time.

Rahul on the other end continued from him form from the last 2 matches (averaging over 100 in the series), he was looking in fine form and it seemed impossible to find any flaws in his technique to get him out.

KL Rahul, with his 100* vs Zimbabwe, is now the first Indian to score a century on ODI debut

A well-established opening duo guided India to a 10-wicket win over the Zimbabweans and thus achieving an ODI series white-wash. It’s fair to say that India has been the clear cut favorite across the 3 ODI’s with hardly any flaws to their side, while Zimbabwe has some major drawbacks to work upon before the 3 match t20 series begins.

Man of the match and man of the series was adjudged to KL Rahul.

Stat : 14.37 has been the average run per wicket for Zimbabwe this ODI series, their second worst in history.

Here are the major statistics and awards from the ODI series.

Super catch 3rd ODI KL Rahul.
Emerging player 3rd ODI Jasprit Bumrah.
Man of the Match 3rd ODI KL Rahul.
Emerging player of the series Yuzvendra Chahal.
Man of the series KL Rahul (196 runs in 3 matches, 1 century, 2 fifties)
Most Man of the Match Awards KL Rahul – 2.
Highest Run getter KL Rahul (196 runs in 3 matches).
Highest Wicket taker Jasprit Bumrah (9 wickets).
Highest score on ODI debut by Indian opener KL Rahul 100*.
Maximum Fifties in tournament KL Rahul – 2.
1st Whitewash for MS Dhoni overseas MSD’s 1st away series whitewash as India captain.
350 fielding dismissals As wicketkeeper in ODIs by MS Dhoni.
MS Dhoni equals Allan Border’s record 107 ODI match wins by MS Dhoni.
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