India and Zimbabwe are set to lock horns in the first game of the three-match ODI series on Thursday, August 18 at Harare Sports Club.

Zimbabwe, led by Regis Chakabva, must be brimming with confidence after beating Bangladesh in both the ODI and T20I series. While Sikandar Raza was arguably the standout batter from either side, the likes of Innocent Kaia and Ryan Burl also impressed to a large extent.

Apart from his bowling, Raza also showed his prowess with the ball in hand, having picked up a three-wicket haul. However, overpowering a strong Indian team may not be a walk in the park for them by any stretch of the imagination. At Harare, Zimbabwe have beaten India only twice out of 16 meetings in ODIs.

As far as India are concerned, they got a massive boost after KL Rahul found his spot back in the team after almost six months. Rahul passed a fitness test and also replaced Shikhar Dhawan as the captain. After Rahul’s return, Dhawan has been named as the vice-captain for the series.

Shubman Gill became the

leading run-scorer in the ODI series against the West Indies and also finished as the Player of the Series. However, after Rahul’s return, his position in the lineup remains to be seen.

India have rested a number of their key players, who will be taking part in the upcoming edition of the Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). But with the ODI World Cup to be played next year, it’s a chance for India to test their bench strength.

Head to Head
Played - 63, Win - 51, Lost - 10, Tied - 2

In Zimbabwe
Played - 23, Win 19, Lost 4, N/R -0

Predicted Playing XIs:
Tadiwanashe Marumani, Regis Chakabva (C), Innocent Kaia, Wesley Madhevere, Sikandar Raza, Clive Madande (wk), Tony Munyonga, Luke Jongwe, Brad Evans, Victor Nyauchi, Richard Ngarava

Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul (C), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Rahul Tripathi/Ruturaj Gaikwad, Deepak Hooda, Axar Patel, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, Kuldeep Yadav, Avesh Khan.
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