IND vs ZIM Live Cricket score: India, Zimbabwe look to the future in T20I series

India vs Zimbabwe Live Score: World champions India will usher in a new era as they take on Zimbabwe in a five-match Twenty20 series at the Harare Sports Club starting Saturday.

Shubman Gill will lead India for the first time, with senior players rested in the aftermath of joyous celebrations of winning the T20 World Cup.

The 24-year-old batter, who led the Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League, returns to India’s T20 eleven along with middle order bat Rinku Singh. The duo had missed out on the World Cup, but traveled to the West Indies and United States as reserve players.

Star batting duo Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli announced their retirements from T20 internationals after lifting the World Cup trophy in Barbados on June 29.

Ravindra Jadeja also announced his international retirement from the format, with world’s No. 1 all-rounder Hardik Pandya, No. 1 batter Suryakumar Yadav and No. 1 fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah all gaining a well-earned rest.

Amid retirements and rested senior players, it is a huge opportunity for youngsters who will be eager to make the step-up to international cricket.

India’s young squad consists of many budding superstars who have had an enriching experience in the IPL, including Abhishek Sharma, Riyan Parag and Tushar Deshpande.

Abhishek Sharma lit up the IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad, scoring 484 runs in 16 matches at strike-rate 204.22, while Parag scored 573 runs for Rajasthan Royals. Both are expected to start the series and gain their T20 debuts.

Among others expected to gain valuable T20 opportunities are prolific batter Ruturaj Gaikwad (skipper of Chennai Super Kings) as also spin all-rounder Washington Sundar and medium pacer Tushar Deshpande, who picked up 38 IPL wickets for Chennai in the past two seasons.

Sharma is set to open the innings with Gill in the first T20, with Gaikwad slotting in at number three.

Keeper-batter Sanju Samson and opener Yashasvi Jaiswal were the only ones from the World Cup squad to be picked for this series. Batting all-rounder Shivam Dube was later included in place of 21-year-old all-rounder Nitish Reddy as the latter picked up an injury.

The trio, however, will not be available for the first two matches as the Indian team left Barbados late owing to a hurricane and only arrived in India on Thursday. Instead, batters Sai Sudharsan and Jitesh Sharma as well as pacer Harshit Rana were added to India’s squad for the first two T20s.

Zimbabwe announced a 17-man squad for the series led by Sikandar Raza. Senior players Craig Ervine and Sean Williams were not considered for selection, while 25-year-old Antum Naqvi is included subject to him gaining Zimbabwe citizenship.

This is Zimbabwe’s third high-profile T20 series in 2024 having played against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh earlier.

India and Zimbabwe last faced each other in the 2022 T20 World Cup at Melbourne — the Men in Blue won by 71 runs.

Their previous bilateral engagement was in 2016 when India had toured for a three-match series. Overall, the two sides have played eight T20s, with India winning six matches.

Zimbabwe beat India 2-0 at home in their maiden T20 engagement back in 2010.

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