likely XI

India and Zimbabwe will clash in the third and final One-Day International (ODI) at Harare on Wednesday. Visitors have already won the series which turns this game into a dead rubber. They would be eager to win the final encounter as well and it will succeed in inflicting a clean sweep in the series. Zimbabwe are low on confidence after two terrible losses in the tournament. They are finding it challenging facing a second-string Indian side. Having crowd support and knowing the local conditions has provided the hosts little help against India, who are looking unstoppable at the momentFULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Zimbabwe 2016, 3rd ODI at Harare

Zimbabwe should aim giving a thorough fight; even if they lose, they should ensure that it is not by a big margin. Zimbabwe have been poor with both bat and ball. Their batters were finding it an arduous undertaking when they faced Yuzvendra Chahal, Barinder Sran and Dhawal Kulkarni in the second ODI. Zimbabwe have nothing to lose, increasing the possibility of them making a few changes in their playing XI.

Top-order: Peter Moor failed in the earlier two matches, first as an opener and then coming one-down. He is likely to open the innings again as he did in the first match. Moor could have been dropped but taking into account the injury to Sean Williams in the second one-day, he is likely to receive another chance. Chamu Chibhabha in high probability will be his opening partner. Hamilton Masakadza will bat at No. 3. He should make every effort to stay on the wicket. An improved sagacity and vigilance on his part will make things slightly better for the Zimbabweans.

Middle-order: There is a possibility of Craig Ervine forcing his way back in the side after being dropped in the second match. Vusi Sibanda and Sikanadar Raza might come next. Zimbabwe’s think tank could contemplate over sending Elton Chigumbura ahead of Raza considering that he scored 41 in the first game though he went for a duck in the second.

Lower-order and Bowling: Wicketkeeper Richmond Mutumbami, who is known for his aggressive approach, scored just 15 and two in the previous matches. He will bat at No. 8. Tendai Chisoro might replace Taurai Muzarabani. He is likely to open Zimbabwe’s bowling along with Tendai Chatara. Chamu Chibhabha will be the second change. Skipper Graeme Cremer with his leg-break and googlies, will come to bowl when the ball gets slightly old. Masakadza can chip in as well with his medium pacers. Zimbabwe’s batting looks imperceptibly weaker compared to their bowling. If they cannot better their batting tomorrow, they can certainly target an improved bowling performance which will give some assistance to their batters.

Zimbabwe likely XI (in batting order): Chamu Chibhabha, Peter Moor, Hamilton Masakadza, Craig Ervine, Vusi Sibanda, Elton Chigumburu, Sikandar Raza, Richmond Mutumbami (wk), Graeme Cremer (c), Tendai Chatara, Tendai Chisoro

(Bhaskar Narayan is a reporter at CricketCountry and Criclife. He passionately follows the game and is a big fan of Sachin Tendulkar. His Twitter handle is @Cricopathy)