Virat Kohli and his touring entourage made most of conditions at Bulawayo to enforce a 4-0 misery on hosts Zimbabwe. All the live updates from the Queens Sports Club:
(Scorecard | Commentary)
With one ODI to go on Saturday, can Zimbabwe register a win? Or will India continue their dominance and complete a clean sweep of the series?
18:40 (IST) After they were put into bat Zimbabwe crumbled under pressure to be bowled out for 144. Elton Chigumbura scored a half-century while debutant Mohit Sharma bagged two wickets. The result was never in doubt during the chase as Rohit Sharma (64) and Suresh Raina(65) found some form to guide India to a nine-wicket victory with almost 20 overs to spare.
18:36 (IST) So India have taken a 4-0 lead in the five-match series. Ajinkya Rahane and Parvez Rasool may get playing time in the final match.
18:28 (IST) India thrash Zimbabwe by 9 wickets! Lead five-match series 4-0.
18:24 (IST) The hosts seem resigned to another thrashing. India need just 2 runs to win after Rohit Sharma smacks a boundary and a six.
18:12 (IST) Fifties for Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina! Rohit gets to his 18th ODI half-century while Raina cruises to his 29th. India need 29 more to win with 9 wickets in hand.
18:02 (IST) Rohit Sharma drives Utseya and the ball smacks Suresh Raina at the non-strikers end. Raina has asked for the trainer. Smiles on everyone's faces (except Raina offcourse!)
17:55 (IST) Looks like another victory for India in the ODI series. The Zimbabwe side seem to be lacking fight, even on home soil. Good match practice for the likes of Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina though.
17:40 (IST) Raina showing signs of form having raced to 30 in 32 balls, Rohit Sharma still finding his feet in a 56-ball 26. India 71/1 in 18.4 overs.
17:25 (IST) Here is an interesting stat - Cheteshwar Pujara is the 3rd Indian to fall on the mark of '13' on ODI debut. The previous two wereÂ Gopal Bose and Pathiv Patel.
17:15 (IST) The new man at No.3 is Suresh Raina. He needs some runs under his belt and has thus been given a promotion up the order.
17:05 (IST) WICKET - Pujara is bowled! He attempts to drive Chatara and leaves a gap between bat and pad, the ball sneaks through and the leg-stump is knocked down. Pujara's debut innings ends on 13. India 23/1 in 9.5 overs.
16:50 (IST): Chasing 145 can be harder than a bigger score at times, but Rohit Sharma and debutant Cheteshwar Pujara have begun well. India going steady at 21/0 after 8 overs.
15: 35 (IST) - That's that! Zimbabwe have been bowled out for a paltry 144. It has been a completely one-sided match so far with Amit Mishra claiming his second and the final wicket of Michael Chinouya (0). Spare a thought for Chigumbura though who remains stranded on the other end on 50 off 66 deliveries.
15:26 (IST) -Half-century! Chigumbura slams another fifty. Considering how his teammates have played today, it really does appear as a slam.
15:21 (IS) -WICKET! One just can't seem to keep Jadeja out of this game. Takes a dolly at cover off Amit Mishra's bowling to remove Tendai Chatara on 1. Zimbabwe once again losing the plot here and are eight men down.
15:17 (IST) - Wicket! That's the first of the day for Mohammad Shami. Prosper Utseya (1) swings his arms against a slightly short delivery only to find Rohit Sharma at point. Zimbabwe 132/7
15:12 (IST) -WICKET! Mohit Sharma breaks the deadlock as he removes Waller on 35.
14:48 (IST) Zimbabwe reach three-figure mark! The hosts complete 100 runs in 32.1 overs as Chigumbura and Waller continue to resist Indian bowlers. Zimbabwe 100/5.
14:42 (IST) Chigumbura-Waller complete 50-run partnership. Both batsmen have played well and reach the milestone off a patient 93 deliveries. While Chigumbura is batting on 23, Waller too has done reasonably well to stabilise an otherwise miserable run-rate with his innings worth 20.
14:25 (IST) - Zimbabwe once again fall on the shoulders of Elton Chigumbura. The 27-year-old reconstructs the innings for his team yet again and is in his 20s. In this series, he has played several stellar knocks - 43* off 34 in the first match, 46 off 58 in the second and when he failed in the third - scoring just 3 - his side folded on 183.
14:11 (IST) - Did you know? Malcolm Waller - son of Zimbabwe coach Andrew Waller - scores 3! So? With scores of 2,2 and 0 so far, Jr. Waller finally breaks the jinx!
14:07 (IST) - The light humoured joke on Twitter is that both Zimbabwe and India are in a rush to finish this match so they can catch the 3rd Ashes Test at Old Trafford - 3 wickets in 8 deliveries!
As for you, get all the updates from the Old Trafford Test between England and Australia on our Live Blog here.
13:55 (IST) - The Indian team has mostly been unforgiving for most parts of the series. Today, they have been absolutely ruthless. Here's some thought from former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar:
Dhoni's boys making Ind proud on the cricket field. Time for the administrators to pull up their socks & raise their performance too.- Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) August 1, 2013
13:48 (IST) - WICKET! Make that five now. This time, it is Vusi Sibanda - the only batsman who looked a bit steady. Jadeja returns to bowl his second and rattles the stump to have the batsman walking back on 24. Zimbabwe 47/5 in 15.1
13:44 (IST) - WICKET! It now seems to be coming apart at the seams for the hosts, yet again. Jaydev Unadkat brought in and he strikes immediately. Sean Williams fails to score and leaves an uprooted stump in his wake.
13:42 (IST) -Taylor recently said that his side has failed to be mentally tough against India. Barring today's slightly iffy dismissal, the Zimbabwe skipper has not had a reasonable performance personally either. His scores from the series so far - 12, 0, 23 and 0.
13:38 (IST) - WICKET! Ravindra Jadeja strikes in his first over. Zimbabwe skipper Brendan Taylor trapped LBW although it looked like it may have drifted just past leg-stump. May have. Umpire thought otherwise and Taylor departs without bothering the scorers. Zimbabwe: 44/3 in 13.5.
13:30 (IST) - It has not been a great last few days for African cricket. While hosts Zimbabwe were expected to struggle vs India, and have, neighbours South Africa too have totally outclassed. The Proteas lost the ODI series in Sri Lanka 1-4! Scorecard from final match played on Wednesday.
13:24 (IST) - WICKET! That would be Zimbabwe's second. A brilliant direct-hit from Ravindra Jadeja sends Hamilton Masakadza packing. The batsman tried to sneak in a cheeky singly to add to his score of 10 but his attempt was thwarted by a great effort by the fielder at point.
13:20 (IST)- The two Indian seamers have bowled tirelessly so far and Zimbabwe batsmen have shown the due respect. In the absence of regular pacers like Ishant (from series) and Bhuvneshwar (from this match), both Mohit and Shami have done a reasonable job. Zimbabwe 35/1 after 10.
13:03 (IST)- WICKET! That's the first scalp for Mohit Sharma in international cricket. Sikandar Raza falls to a nagging delivery just outside the off-stump. It moved a bit off the seam and Raza's tentative push ended with a nudge. The batsman looked too watchful in his innings of 7 off 17, for his own good.
12:55 (IST) - First boundary of the match: A gentle teasing delivery from Mohit and Raza dispatches it through the covers. Clear sign that as far as technique is concerned, this right-hander has done his training well. The bowler though comes back with a prompt reply straightaway with the ball beating the outside edge by a whisker.
12:49 (IST) -After losing the previous match by 7 wickets and collapsing in a heap on 183 (Scorecard), the Zimbabwe openers appear extremely cautious. Barring the rare wild flash with the bat, both have been keeping eyes wide open in the early part of this match. After 4 overs, Zimbabwe 7/0.
12:42 (IST) - In a recent interview to a cricket website, former India batsman Rahul Dravid conceded that the ongoing ODI series in Zimbabwe is likely to be forgotten soon.
However, the Zimbabwe players will not want to forget their experiences against India - despite the results - in a rush. Take the case of Sibanda and Raza, the two openers. Both can boast of playing solid hands in the series so far. While Raza helped himself to 82 in the opening match, Sibanda hit 55 off 65 in the second. The third though was a match both would want to forget as they look to combine now, in the fourth match.
12:31 (IST) - Start: The players come out to the middle and it is the usual pair of openers for Zimbabwe. Sikandar Raza and Vusi Sibanda open against debutant Mohit. What a superb opening delivery in international cricket! First ball from Mohit and it shapes inward with Sibanda completely fumbled. Slight appeal by Dinesh Karthik behind the stumps.
12:25 (IST) - Read the complete toss report here.
12:18 (IST) - Cheteshwar Pujara will make his ODI debut today after storming into the international Test scene earlier this year. Much was written about him and his knocks vs England.
A look though at the other debutant today - Mohit Sharma. The 24-year-old from Ballabhgarh in Haryana had a superb IPL for Chennai Super Kings this year. With 44 first class wickets from 11 matches, this medium-pace bowler has created quite an impression. Earlier last month, Sharma said that he was raring to play for India. (Read complete report here)
12:11 (IST) - Squads:
Zimbabwe: V Sibanda, S Raza, H Masakadza, B Taylor, S Williams, M Waller, E Chigumbura, B Vitori, P Utseya, M Chinouya, T Chatara
India: R Sharma, C Pujara (DEBUT), V Kohli, KD Karthik, S Raina, A Rayudu, R Jadeja, A Mishra, Mohammed Shami, M Sharma (DEBUT), J Unadkat BR>
12:01 (IST) -TOSS! India win toss and Kohli opts to bowl first. Says wicket appears flat but he wants to extract whatever little freshness there is, early on. "Wicket is pretty different from Harare." Cheteshwar Pujara plays in place of Shikhar Dhawan and Mohit Sharma replaces Vinay Kumar.
11: 30 (IST) - And with all the focus on India in Zimbabwe, lest we forget our permanent skipper. It appears MS Dhoni is making the most of his time off national duty:
I think my plan of action is to restore the 1st bike tht I bought for rs4500, will upload its pic maybe tomorrow.its in a very bad shape- Mahendra Singh Dhoni (@msdhoni) August 1, 2013
11:15 (IST) -India expected to test bench strength with Pervez Rasool and Mohit Sharma reportedly being considered for the playing XI. Read preview here.
10:55 (IST) -The track at Bulawayo has traditionally favoured batting with the ball coming nicely to the bat. The cool day however means that seamers can look forward to a lot as well. Read all about the venue here.
10:40 (IST) - Weather update from Bulawayo: It is a partly cloudy day here but the sun is out. The current temperature is 20C and the maximum will hover around 27C.
10: 20 (IST) - Team brilliance or sparkling individual performances: Why India have rogered Zimbabwe. Stats as always give a glimpse.
The top-two wicket-takers in the series have claimed 15 wickets between each other - India's Amit Mishra (9) and Jaydev Unadkat (6). In sharp contrast, the hosts' Brian Vitori and Prosper Utseya have 6 wickets between each other and are fourth and fifth in the list of highest wicket-takers in the series, so far.
10:10 (IST) - Virat Kohli has been lauded for his efforts on the field as skipper of the Indian side, in the absence of MS Dhoni. After their win in the third ODI, even Jagmohan Dalmiya of the Board of Control for Cricket in India sent a congratulatory message.
Did you know? While Team India was busy thrashing Zimbabwe in Harare, Mr and Mrs Dhoni were holidaying in the United States. Check out the pics here
10:00 (IST) - Team India has been in excellent form and barring some rare instances when they been slightly tested, have largely been all over Zimbabwe. As the first match at the Bulawayo Sports Club gets set to be contested, home fans would now be hoping that a change in venue - from Harare - will bring them good fortune.