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India’s debutants and Dhoni’s captaincy summit

Wisden India logo Wisden India 24-06-2016

India might have won the One-Day International series against Zimbabwe 3-0 without breaking a sweat, but the T20 International series was highly competitive and went down to the last ball. Zimbabwe took an early lead in the three-match series by winning the opening T20I in Harare by two runs. India then came back strongly to take the series 2-1. The games provided several landmarks and milestones listed below.

1st T20I

* Five Indians were making their T20I debuts in the same match for the second time for India (not counting their inaugural T20I match.

— 17 July 2015 – Five debutants (Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Stuart Binny, Axar Patel and Sandeep Sharma) against Zimbabwe in Harare. India won by 54 runs.

— 18 June 2016 – Five debutants (KL Rahul, Mandeep Singh, Rishi Dhawan, Jaydev Unadkat, Yuzvendra Chahal)) against Zimbabwe in Harare. India won by 2 runs.

— 13 Sept 2007 – Four debutants (Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, RP Singh, Robin Uthappa) against Scotland in Durban. Match abandoned without a ball being bowled.

* Hamilton Masakadza became the first Zimbabwe batsman to hit 50 sixes in T20Is. He became the 12th batsman in T20I history to do so. The list now has two Australians, Pakistanis and New Zealanders, and one Englishman, Indian, South African, West Indian, Afghan and Zimbabwean. Masakadza now has 51 sixes in 50 games, while teammate Elton Chigumbura follows him with 46 sixes in 47 games.

* MS Dhoni became the leading wicketkeeper in T20Is when he claimed his 61st dismissal (40ct+21st) in his 69th match. He surpassed the previous tally of 60 dismissals (28ct+32st) by Pakistan’s Kamran Akmal in 54 games.

* Jasprit Bumrah became the first bowler this calendar year to claim 50 wickets in all T20 games. He also became the first Indian to do so in all T20 cricket in a single calendar year.

* Elton Chigumbura took 25 balls to reach his third fifty of his career, which is now the fourth fastest by a Zimbabwe batsman in T20Is.

* The seven sixes hit by Elton Chigumbura during his match-winning unbeaten knock of 54 is the maximum in an innings by Zimbabwe batsman. He went past the six sixes hit by Waller against Bangladesh in Dhaka on November 13, 2015. It was also the most sixes hit in a T20I against India, along with five others.

* Zimbabwe’s total of 170 for 6 is their tenth highest in all T20Is and their second highest at home and their highest at this venue. It was by far Zimbabwe’s highest against India obliterating their previous highest of 145 for 7 at this same venue in 2015.

* KL Rahul became the first Indian opener to be dismissed first ball of an Indian innings. Rahul, meanwhile, also became the first Indian batsman to be dismissed on a golden duck on debut. He also became the second after MS Dhoni (off his second ball v South Africa in Johannesburg on December 1, 2006) to make a duck on T20I debut.

* Zimbabwe registered their 14th victory (including one in a bowl-out after the match was tied) in their 52nd T20I. This was their second consecutive win against India, following their victory at the same ground in 2015. Bangladesh have lost to Zimbabwe on most occasions, three, followed by two losses each to Canada and now India.

2nd T20I

* For the second time in a row two Indian debutants opened the Indian bowling. In the previous game, Jaydev Unadkat and Rishi Dhawan did so, while in this game it was Barinder Sran and Dhawal Kulkarni.

* Barinder Sran’s 4 for 10 is now the second-best bowling figures on T20I debut. His figures are just behind Bangladesh’s Elias Sunny’s 5 for 13 against Ireland in Belfast on July 18, 2012. The previous best bowling performance by an Indian on debut was Pragyan Ojha’s 4 for 21 against Bangladesh in Nottingham on June 6, 2009.

* The unbeaten 103 partnership between KL Rahul and Mandeep Singh is India’s only second 100-plus stand for the opening wicket in T20Is. The only other instance was the 136 runs Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir added against England in Durban in the World T20 in 2007.

* Sran, meanwhile, became the fifth Indian player to receive the Man of the Match award on T20I debut, after Dinesh Karthik, Pragyan Ojha, S Badrinath and Axar Patel.

* India became the only seventh side to win by a margin of ten wickets in T20Is. Overall this is the 13th occasion a ten-wicket win has been recorded.

* India’s win with 41 balls to spare is their second biggest in terms of balls remaining, after the 59 balls to spare victory against UAE earlier this year in the Asia Cup in Mirpur.

3rd T20I match

* MS Dhoni was captaining India for the 324th time across all formats. He thus equals the record of Australia’s Ricky Ponting.

* Kedar Jadhav became the only third Indian batsman to score 50-plus while batting at No. 5 or lower in T20Is.

* The 24 wickets by Jasprit Bumrah in 19 T20Is is the most taken by any bowler in T20Is in 2016. Bangladesh’s Al-Amin Hossain follows him with 22 wickets in 14 games. Only two bowlers have claimed more wickets than Bumrah in a calendar year: Australia’s Dirk Nannes with 27 wickets in 14 matches in 2010 and Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal with 25 wickets in 16 matches in 2012. Bumrah’s 24 wickets is also the most by an Indian bowler in a calendar year bettering R Ashwin’s tally of 21 achieved in 2016.

* This the second time India have managed to win a three-match bilateral T20I series after losing the opening match. Earlier this year in February, India beat Sri Lanka 2-1 after losing the first game of the series.

* India’s 138 for 6 is now the lowest total they have defended. Previously they had successfully defended 146 for 7 to beat Bangladesh (145 for 9) in the recent World T20 game in Bangalore. (Note: India had tied with Pakistan after scoring 141 for 9 in Durban in the World T20 2007. But won the game in a bowl-out.)

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