India vs Zimbabwe 1st & 2nd T20I: Preview and Prediction

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This will be a new-look Indian squad under Shubman Gill’s captaincy

While the senior pros are busy celebrating their 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup win, it is time to shift focus to the upcoming stars of Indian cricket as the Men in Blue take on Zimbabwe.

Led by Shubman Gill, the Indian team will play five matches against Zimbabwe between 6th to 14th July. The first match will take place on Saturday, while the next match will be played on the very next day at the Harare Sports Club with the legendary venue set to host all five fixtures.

With all the players involved at the World Cup returning home due to the hurricane in West Indies, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson, and Shivam Dube have been ruled out of the first two T20Is and would be replaced by Sai Sudharsan, Jitesh Sharma, and Harshit Rana with the latter being awarded a spot for his splendid performances in IPL 2024 that helped Kolkata Knight Riders lift the trophy at the business end of the season.

What has happened so far?

India is going through an excellent run as they have not lost a single T20I match this year. At the T20 World Cup, they won 8 of their nine matches, while one match was washed out due to rain.

If we go back even further, India has lost only five matches in this format over the last two years. During this period, India won 21 matches, and two matches did not yield any results.

Zimbabwe, on the other hand, is going through a rough patch. Despite this edition’s T20 World Cup having as many as 20 teams, they could not make the cut while teams like Uganda and Namibia qualified from the continent of Africa.

If we consider their recent form, they played a five-match series against Bangladesh back in May, where they won just one match and lost the other four. Before that, they lost against Ireland and Sri Lanka, with the result being 1-2 in a three-match series on both occasions. 

Head to Head Record

When it comes to head-to-head records, India is ahead of Zimbabwe by a fair margin. These two teams have met 8 times in T20I cricket, where the Men in Blue have won 6 matches while the Chevrons have won only 2 matches.

The last meeting between India and Zimbabwe was at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2022, at the T20 World Cup. India won that match by 71 runs, thanks to half-centuries from KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav, along with a three-wicket haul by Ravichandran Ashwin. 

Key Players

Blessing Muzarabani (Zimbabwe): Considering his experience, the one cricketer from Zimbabwe everyone will have their eyes on is captain Sikandar Raza. But that being said, their X-factor has more often than not been fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani in recent years.

In 51 T20Is, Muzarabani has picked up 60 wickets at an average of under 25 and an economy rate of just over 7. Besides that, what gives Muzarabani the edge is his experience in T20 franchise leagues, as he has played in the Pakistan Super League, the International League T20 and the Caribbean Premier League.

Rinku Singh will have the chance to become a permanent member of the India T20I team

Rinku Singh (India): Rinku Singh got the chance to lift the T20 World Cup trophy as he was a travelling reserve of the Indian team, but now, he will have an even bigger opportunity to become a permanent member of the playing XI, after Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma’s retirements. If numbers are anything to go by, Rinku is here to stay.

In only 11 T20I innings for India, Rinku has scored 356 runs at a staggering average of nearly 90 and a mind-boggling strike rate of over 175. He has scored two half-centuries in this format, one of which was an unbeaten 39-ball 69 against Afghanistan, and the other was a 39-ball 68 not out against South Africa.

Predicted XIs

Zimbabwe: Tadiwanashe Marumani, Milton Shumba, Jonathan Campbell, Sikandar Raza ©, Brian Bennett, Clive Madande (wk), Wessly Madhevere, Luke Jongwe, Tendai Chatara, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava.

India: Shubman Gill ©, Abhishek Sharma, Sai Sudharsan, Riyan Parag, Rinku Singh, Dhruv Jurel (wk), Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Khaleel Ahmed, Mukesh Kumar.


Though India will miss many of their key players, including the likely new T20I captain Hardik Pandya, they are still stronger than Zimbabwe in every department. Hence, it is expected that India will start as favorites in both of the matches on this weekend.