As far as the World Cup is concerned, there is nothing riding on this match between two full-members on complete opposite ends of the financial rewards for being a Test nation. India, the most powerful country in the sport have qualified. Zimbabwe, who fail to pay players regularly, are in dire straits.
Their best player, Brendan Taylor, is giving up international duties to join Nottinghamshire on a Kolpak deal. The financial security and promise of regular cricket too appealing to turn down.
Rumours coming out of Zimbabwe are that Taylor will be the first of many.
Taylor, one of Zimbabwe’s finest ever batsmen, called the decision “the hardest decision of his career.”
I'm very, very sad to leave Zimbabwe cricket. I've had some fond memories and I have some great friends here but life goes on and you have to try and make the best decisions for your family and moving forward."
Zimbabwe are eliminated from the tournament. They have performed well 90% of each game yet poor death bowling has ultimately proved their downfall. They have bowled well with the new-ball and their batsmen have looked classy yet they have yet to put together one complete performance.
They will look to do so against an Indian side that started the tournament in emphatic fashion with a win over Pakistan before continuing their ruthless streak as they have now won 9 World Cup matches in a row which places them third in the list of all-time consecutive World Cup wins. Some way short of Ricky Ponting’s Australian side of 2003-2011 that won 24 consecutive.
India have posted totals in excess of 300 against the likes of Pakistan and South Africa on bigger outfields than that of Eden Park where they face Zimbabwe and will look to make a statement of intent with a big total. Their highest score of 307 has been surpassed by all teams apart from Afghanistan and UAE.
India (probable) 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Ajinkya Rahane, 5 Suresh Raina,
6 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Mohit Sharma, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Umesh Yadav
Zimbabwe (probable) 1 Chamu Chibhabha, 2 Sikandar Raza, 3 Hamilton Masakadza, 4 Brendan Taylor (capt & wk), 5 Sean Williams, 6 Craig Ervine, 7 Solomon Mire, 8 Regis Chakabva, 9 Tinashe Panyangara, 10 Tawanda Mupariwa, 11 Tendai Chatara