World champs India set to clash against Zimbabwe in five-match T20I series


Harare: World champions India will take on hosts Zimbabwe in the five-match T20 cricket series to be played at the Harare Sports Club from Saturday. The Indian cricket team will play its first bilateral series in the African nation since 2016. All five India vs Zimbabwe T20 matches will be played at the same venue and are scheduled to begin at 4:30 PM IST. Live streaming and telecast will be available in India.

The Indian men’s cricket team was crowned world champions at the recently concluded T20 Cricket World Cup 2024, co-hosted by the United States and West Indies. Zimbabwe arrive into the series following a 4-1 loss against Bangladesh in the five-match T20 series in May. They did not qualify for the T20 World Cup.

A much-changed Indian team will feature in Harare after stalwarts Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja recently announced their retirement from the T20 format. World No. 1 T20 all-rounder Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, Suryakumar Yadav, Arshdeep Singh and Jasprit Bumrah will also be the notable absentees in the IND vs ZIM T20 series.

Ace batter Shubman Gill will lead the Indian men’s cricket team against Zimbabwe, which includes Ruturaj Gaikwad, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rinku Singh and Ravi Bishnoi. Meanwhile, T20 debuts could be on the cards for IPL 2024’s top six-hitter Abhishek Sharma along with Dhruv Jurel, Riyan Parag and Tushar Deshpande.

Sanju Samson, Shivam Dube and Yashasvi Jaiswal, part of the T20 World Cup-winning Indian cricket team, will miss the first two matches. Sai Sudharsan, Jitesh Sharma and Harshit Rana have been drafted into India’s 15-member squad for the first two matches. Nitish Kumar Reddy, a seam bowling all-rounder, had initially received his maiden India call-up but was later sidelined for this series after picking up an injury.

In men’s T20 internationals, India holds the upper hand against Zimbabwe. The two-time T20 world champions have won six of the eight head-to-head contests. Zimbabwe defeated India twice: once in 2015 and once in 2016. Both of Zimbabwe’s victories came in Harare. The two teams last met in the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Group B. Suryakumar Yadav smashed an unbeaten 25-ball 61 to help India win the contest by 71 runs.

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