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Lokesh Rahul - Hundred on ODI debut, golden duck on T20I debut

India Today logo India Today 19-06-2016
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After getting the Man-of-the-Tournament award in the One-Day International series against Zimbabwe, opener Lokesh Rahul hit back at coaches and team-mates who had branded him a 'Test-only' material.

The Karnataka batsman, who made it to the Indian ODI team following strong performances in the domestic circuit and the Indian Premier League, had a dream debut as he became the highest run-getter in the series with 196 runs, including a ton on debut and an unbeaten fifty.

"To all the guys who have been branded Test players, your coaches or teammates in the dressing room can tell you you're not good enough. I never thought they were right," Rahul had said.

The 24-year-old also vowed to continue in same vein and punish the Zimbabwe bowlers in the three-match Twenty20 series.

However, the wicketkeeper batsman failed to walk the talk on the field.

Chasing 171, India, who fielded five debutants, were off to their worst possible start, losing Rahul in the very first delivery. This was also the first time that India had lost a wicket off their first ball in a T20 innings.

Zimbabwe held their nerves to beat India by two runs as Mahendra Singh Dhoni failed to hit a four off the last ball for the win.

Here are some other statistical highlights from the match:

CONSECUTIVE LOSS FOR INDIA

This is second consecutive loss for the Indians, who are ranked No. 2 in the world, against Zimbabwe in the T20s. Last year, the Indian team, led by Ajinkya Rahane tied the T20 series 1-1 against the hosts after losing the second match. India recently reached the semi-final of the World T20 at home while Zimbabwe failed to reach the main draw and suffered an exit in the qualifying round.

FIVE DEBUTANTS

India decided to test the bench strength in the T20 series and included five new faces in the playing XI in Harare.

Rishi Dhawan, Mandeep Singh, Jaydev Unadkat, Lokesh Rahul, Yuzvendra Chahal were handed their maiden India caps - first time that five or more players made their debuts for India in a single T20 match.

CHIGUMBURA PUNCTURES INDIA'S BOWLING

Zimbabwe's total was set up by 54 not out off 26 balls from Elton Chigumbura and 30 from Malcolm Waller. Chigumbura hit seven sixes in his rapid innings after coming in with less than five overs of the innings to go. The right-hander came and blew away the rookie Indian bowlers, carting the pacers and spinners alike, in the big arc between cover and mid-wicket.

Chigumbura's effort propelled the visitors, who have been criticised for their hapless batting display in the ODI series. The average score for Zimbabwe in the ODI series has been 139 (417 runs in 3 matches). They have scored more than that in the first T20.

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