India look to top table with victory over Zimbabwe

In bowling it has been rookie left arm pacer Arshdeep Singh who has been the standout performer with nine wickets to his credit

India look to top table with victory over Zimbabwe

(Picture- BCCI Twitter)

India have a fine chance of topping the Group 2 table and entering the semi-finals of the ICC men’s T20 World Cup with their confidence high.

Rohit Sharma’s men just need to win tomorrow’s fifth and last round-robin league game against Zimbabwe, already out of reckoning for the last four stage, to finish atop their group with eight points.

India have the wherewithal in both batting, in which their resources run deep, and varied bowling to achieve this aim.


It all boils down to implementing the plans properly at the Melbourne Cricket Ground where another plus 90,000 crowd is expected to egg them on like it was on October 23 in their campaign opener against arch-rivals Pakistan.

Virat Kohli, the top run-getter in the league stage so far with 220 runs to his credit with the help of three fifties, once again looms large one day after his birthday today as the biggest threat to whatever hopes Zimbabwe may nurture of upsetting India’s apple cart.

Suryakumar Yadav has also been top-notch in batting and the encouraging signs for India are the return to some sort of form by captain Rohit Sharma and vice-captain K L Rahul.

In bowling it has been rookie left arm pacer Arshdeep Singh who has been the standout performer with nine wickets to his credit, both up front and at the back end of the rival innings.

He has been well supported by senior bowlers Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami.

Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin have so far not found the weather or wicket conditions favourable to spin but have performed just about adequately to add muscle to the pacers’ efforts.

Zimbabwe, on the other hand, has been too dependent on the all-round skills of Sikandar Raza and Sean Williams.

They have managed to upset a top team like Pakistan and came nearly close to toppling Bangladesh too but suffered an unexpected defeat at the hands of Netherlands.

India’s ace off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin described the conditions that the cricketers had experienced as extremely cold which have made it a “unique” T20 World Cup.

“I generally like cold weather. I’ve been to England and played a lot of cricket there, but this has been very unique and different”, Ashwin told media persons on the eve of the team’s concluding league match.

“If you are playing a Test match, you can warm up through the day or get better. But playing T20 cricket in this weather, not to know what the surface will be like, how it will respond, what the weather is like, it’s been a new experience coming to Australia. Yeah, it’s been a unique World Cup that way”, he explained.

“Simple: We need to be clinical, as clinical as possible. Like I said, we know no team is a push-over. You will have to still go in there, counter the early pace with the bat and still bowl good balls to be able to generate pressure,” he said about the match coming up.

“Good teams will be clinical and will put the pressure on such days, and it’s a must-win contest. We know that. Like in every other contest in this T20 World Cup, it’s a must-win encounter.

“So, we are looking forward to the game. Zimbabwe has played some wonderful cricket, so we can’t go in there and expect them to crumble. They bowled well and batted well, so we expect that.”

“The win against Pakistan has given us a huge amount of belief that we can beat any side in the tournament. I don’t think that will change going into tomorrow’s game”, said Zimbabwe skipper Craig Ervine at the match eve presser.