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Zimbabwe ready to trip old enemies India | Cricket

Virat Kohli made his T20I debut in 2010, against Zimbabwe. On the same tour, Rohit Sharma scored his first international century, in an ODI in Bulawayo. Six years later, KL Rahul also made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe, with a hundred. They haven’t been invited to tour India in twenty years, but Zimbabwe remains a favorite for bringing in new talent. Things weren’t so relaxed for 2002 when a team made up of Andy Flower, Grant Flower, Alistair Campbell, Heath Streak, Neil Johnson and Henry Olonga could beat any team on their day. The current Zimbabwe team may not be here yet, but they have made sure everyone in Australia is sitting up straight.

That’s what a single-run win against Pakistan can do for a team’s World Cup story. Defeats to Bangladesh and the Netherlands were inevitable, but that win over Pakistan and the split of the points with South Africa – although that has more to do with rain – have helped Zimbabwe on the verge of writing a fairy tale . One game to go, they’re chasing nothing but glory.

“The win against Pakistan has given us tremendous confidence that we can beat any side in the tournament. I don’t think that will change in tomorrow’s game,” Zimbabwe captain Craig Ervine said before their game against India on Sunday.

“The World Cup has been very exciting because there have been a lot of close games. One thing we’ve learned, you’ll never get out. If you can try to stay in the game and try to get it as deep as you can, you never know where it can bring you. Obviously there are a lot of different pressures that come into play in different games, so most of all try to get the game as deep as possible and get the other side to panic before you do,” he said.

The last time Zimbabwe won against India was in 2016, with two runs in a T20I. That was a dot on the radar. This time, however, it is a well-rounded team. “This is a great opportunity to bowl against some of the best guys in the world so there’s no reason guys wouldn’t really want to go out and produce the goods. How often do you get the chance to pocket Virat Kohli? I’m pretty sure our fast bowlers are eager to come tomorrow,” Ervine said.

Zimbabwe rarely makes waves on the cricket front, so a memorable performance at a World Cup can go a long way towards improving the game. “When we move away from the World Cup, we want to take that kind of consistency with us,” Ervine said. “I think we have created good support. There are a lot of people who follow cricket in Zimbabwe and we want to try to keep it that way and build on that.”

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