Zimbabwe vs India Preview & Prediction | First International T20

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Newly crowned ICC T20 World Cup winners India are back in action less than a week after that memorable triumph, albeit an entirely different squad will take on Zimbabwe in Harare.

DATE/TIME: Saturday 4th July 2024: UK – 12:00pm / INDIA – 4.30pm / US EST – 7:00am / US PST – 4:00am

VENUE: Harare Sports Club, Harare, Zimbabwe

WEATHER: A hot day with bright sunshine and light winds, as temperatures reach 24c.

HOW TO WATCH ON TV: UK – Not televised / INDIA – Sony Sports / US – Willow TV

HOW TO WATCH ONLINE: UK – Not televised / INDIA – SonyLIV / US – Willow TV website

ZIMBABWE FORM: HOPING FOR IMPROVEMENT AFTER BANGLADESH BEATING

Having not qualified for the ICC T20 World Cup, Zimbabwe’s last action in T20i cricket came back in May, losing 1-4 in a five-match series against Bangladesh. It was an extremely disappointing showing from Zimbabwe and doesn’t bode well for them against a much-changed but still very dangerous Indian side.

LAST FIVE: WLLLL

INDIA FORM: ICC T20 WORLD CUP CHAMPIONS IN SPARKLING FORM

India are coming off the back of a momentous occasion, their first ICC T20 World Cup triumph since 2007 after beating South Africa in a thrilling final. They went through the entire tournament undefeated and now enter a new era, with captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja all announcing their T20i retirements.

LAST FIVE: WWWWW

ZIMBABWE BETTING ANALYSIS

Zimbabwe are expected to struggle over the course of this match and even if they are to play on a good batting surface, they could find themselves losing early wickets. With that in mind, consider not only backing India to record a higher first wicket partnership than Zimbabwe, but also for the hosts to accumulate an opening partnership of under 16.5 runs whether they be batting first or second.

All-rounder Sikandar Raza will likely have an important role to play with the bat in particular and has undoubtedly quality as he has shown across numerous franchise tournaments as well as for Zimbabwe. Back him to gain 20+ runs via the ‘Batter Milestones’ market, with potentially an additional small stake to finish as his side’s top batter.

INDIA BETTING ANALYSIS

Although this India team will be unrecognisable from the one who won the ICC T20 World Cup, the players involved know what is at stake for them as individuals with places set to emerge within the first-choice T20i side following the retirements of Rohit, Kohli and Jadeja. Shubman Gill has been named skipper of this squad and has a significant point to prove with the bat. His quality is clear to see and value is to be had in backing Gill to score a half-century in this one.

Another top order batter looking to make a substantial impact and send a message to the selectors is Ruturaj Gaikwad. Expected to bat in the powerplay, Gaikwad could profit as a result and make use of the field being mostly inside the circle. Therefore, backing Gaikwad to score over 30.5 match runs appears a smart move.

ZIMBABWE VS INDIA EXPERT PREDICTION

Although India won’t be fielding their strongest side, the depth of talent at their disposal means they will still be able to play a team packed full of T20 experience at the highest level, whether that be through the IPL, or from past appearances for their country. Zimbabwe are not in good form and could well struggle again with a bad start to this series.

The expectation is that India will wind up too strong for Zimbabwe in this opening match although it shouldn’t be a comprehensive one. At home, Zimbabwe will no doubt put up a good fight, but India has to be favoured for victory.

ZIMBABWE VS INDIA TIP: INDIA TO WIN