India looks for encore in T20s

On a high after a clean sweep in the just concluded One-Day International (ODI) series, the new-look India team led by M.S. Dhoni will aim to continue its domination when it takes on Zimbabwe in the first game of three-match Twenty20 International series here on Saturday.

Riding high after inflicting a 3-0 whitewash on the host, Dhoni and his boys will try to do an encore in the shortest version as well.

Opening batsman K.L. Rahul, who was adjudged the Man-of-the-Series along with Faiz Fazal, made the most of the opportunity to take the team to a comfortable victory against a hapless Zimbabwe side while leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal shone with the ball.

But ahead of the T20 series, the host may take encouragement from past results against India. In 2015, the Ajinkya Rahane-led India was held to a 1-1 draw in the T20 series after it lost the second match. Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey, who are also on the tour this time around, will be aware of the past results.

After an easy outing in the ODI series, Dhoni will like to try out Mandeep Singh, Jayant Yadav and Jaydev Unadkat who have warmed the bench till now.

Rahul, Pandey and Ambati Rayudu are almost certain in the T20 line-up. But, it will be a choice between Karun Nair and young Faiz Fazal for the opener’s spot.

Fazal impressed in his first outing in international arena, scoring maiden half-century which came in a winning cause. On the other hand, Zimbabwe will aim to give it all and put up some fight in the shortest format of the game.

But the host suffered a blow when senior players Sean Williams and Craig Ervine were ruled out after suffering injuries during the ODIs.

Ervine injured his hamstring in the first ODI, while Williams, who replaced him for the second game, fractured his finger at training soon after the toss.