Zimbabwe, though are being termed the weaker ones in this tournament, have their own positives which can result in victory © AFP
Zimbabwe, though are being termed the weaker ones in this tournament, have their own positives which can result in victory © AFP

Cricket enthusiasts would say, it is an unbalanced series as India face Zimbabwe at the latter’s home for three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and three Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). MS Dhoni, one of the most successful captains, is leading the team to face Zimbabwe, a team currently clueless about whom to hand the responsibility of leading the national cricket team. India, who are being considered as one of the strongest sides, against Zimbabwe, who failed to qualify for the final rounds of ICC World T20 2016 — no comparison at all, a general cricket follower would say. But what goes unnoticed is the fact that Zimbabwe have enough possibilities to win the series and regain their long lost glory. Live Cricket Scorecard: Zimbabwe vs India, IPL 2016, 1st ODI match, at Harare

Young Indian team: The prominent point that comes to one’s mind while thinking of the series is that India will not be playing on their full strength. The Indian team that is set to face Zimbabwe is young and inexperienced when compared to the Zimbabwe squad. Though Dhoni is one name who has defied reality with his intelligent game in many occasions, he needs support and understanding of the game up to his level to match up to him. Zimbabwe players, on the other hand, have played a lot more international cricket.

Home-ground advantage: The series is scheduled to be played at Harare Sports Club ground. The players, having played here at the stadium for a huge time, know the ground well enough to play accordingly, while the support of the home crowd comes as an added bonus.

Tested batting order: The Zimbabwe team have done really well in the limited-overs formats recently. Though they have not been able to win many series, the top-order is in a very good form and have been scoring good runs. The batting line-up comprises of names like Hamilton Masakadza, Vusi Sibanda, Sikandar Raza and Chamu Chibhabha who have done well at the particular venue and will be confident playing there.

Young but talented bowlers: Of late, the sudden rise in talent quotient in Zimbabwe bowling squad has attracted many cricket enthusiasts. The most reliable name has to be Wellington Masakadza. Though the bowler has not played many international matches his First-Class records of 62 wickets from 15 matches speak for him. Among pacers, Neville Madziva has impressed with his limited appearances while the team finds consistency and experience in Tendai Chatara.

All-rounders: One factor that India lack and have been trying to fill up is of a proper all-rounder. On a contrary, Zimbabwe has a squad which has a lot of capable all-rounders starting with their new skipper Graeme Cremer. While he has tasted much success with the ball as was expected of him, he also has turned out to be one of the dependable batsmen down the order. He can play those brief yet crucial innings. Apart from Cremer, there is Raza, who, although is looked upon as one of the batting options, can bag a wicket or two. Sean Williams has also played like a bowling all-rounder lately.

Captain’s experience of playing with the side: Dhoni has played for the country for a long time but the major problem lies in the fact that he has not played alongside these teammates on the international level. Cremer, who on the other hand will be captaining the side for the first time, has played with the members for a long time which will help him understand the strengths and weaknesses of the team’s players from a practical aspect.

With many reasons supporting the hosts, they prominently hold a chance to win the series and if they do, it will certainly boost their morale and will mark the initiation of their rise as one of the powers in world cricket.

(Paulami Chakraborty, a singer, dancer, artist, and photographer, loves the madness of cricket and writes about the game. She can be followed on Twitter at @Polotwitts)