Former India cricketer and ex-member of the senior selection committee Saba Karim has reckoned that Zimbabwe can give the visitors a run for their money during the upcoming three-match ODI series, starting from Thursday in Harare.
Saba said that based on their recent 2-1 series victory over Bangladesh in both 20-over and 50-over formats, the hosts can pose some serious challenge before Team India.
Although several senior Indian players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma have been rested in the Zimbabwe tour, the visitors still have a strong squad in stand-in captain KL Rahul, vice-captain Shikhar Dhawan apart from Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Deepak Hooda, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Deepak Chahar, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan and others.
“It is exciting to see a young Indian cricket team taking the charge and representing the nation in various international series. While the team will be playing under the close watch of some senior players like KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan, the series will be crucial for preparing the young players for major cricket tournaments.”
“I also think Team India shouldn’t take Zimbabwe lightly, as their recent performance during the Bangladesh tour has highlighted their growth and they can possibly give Team India run for their money,” said Karim in an official release by the Sony Sports Network.
As per the release, Karim will be a member of the broadcast team on Sony for India’s three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe alongside Ajay Jadeja, Maninder Singh, Robin Uthappa, Dirk Viljoen, RP Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Vivek Razdan, Paul Valthaty in English and Hindi coverage.
Meanwhile, Kaif expressed that he is expecting the youngsters to grab the opportunities in the absence of senior cricketers.
“Zimbabwe is in good form and they have the chance to showcase their talent in this series against India. However, despite missing some key players, India is still a strong squad and we have a great team with players hungry to perform and grab the opportunity to make their mark with this series in Zimbabwe,” he said.
India will face hosts Zimbabwe in the first match of the series at the Harare Sports Club in Harare on August 18 while the remaining two games will be held on August 20 and 22.