Seamer Jasprit Bumrah grabbed four wickets as another hopeless performance from Zimbabwe’s batsmen handed India a crushing one-day international series whitewash at Harare Sports Club on Wednesday (16).
Zimbabwe made five changes for the third and final ODI, but it made no difference as they were bowled out for 123 with Bumrah taking 4 for 22.
Chasing another meagre target, India required less than 22 overs to wrap up a 3-0 series win as KL Rahul made an unbeaten 63 and Faiz Fazal marked his international debut with an unbeaten 55.
Zimbabwe’s management team of Makhaya Ntini and Lance Klusener had called for time after losing the first two matches by nine and eight wickets, but if anything their batsmen’s performances deteriorated over the course of the series.
The hosts failed to bat out 50 overs in any of the three games and never managed more than 168, despite being up against a second-string Indian team.
“The wickets have been slightly helpful for us so it has been a little bit easier,” reflected Bumrah.
As with the second ODI, Vusi Sibanda’s knock gave Zimbabwe a steady enough start, only for a dramatic collapse to leave India’s batsman with a simple task.
Sibanda offered a tame return catch to legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal, and Bumrah dismissed Timycen Maruma and Elton Chigumbura in consecutive deliveries.
The next over saw Malcolm Waller run out and Graeme Cremer trapped lbw by his first delivery, meaning that Zimbabwe had lost four wickets in four deliveries.
In all they lost their last seven wickets for 19 runs, echoing their batting in Monday’s second ODI when they lost six for 20.
Bumrah finished his first full one-day series with nine wickets, hinting that he can turn his success in Twenty20 cricket into a successful 50-over career.
“This is a different game but I keep the same mindset and try to stick to my strengths and do what I know,” he said.
Similarly man of the series KL Rahul made an excellent start to his limited overs career, scoring 196 runs for one dismissal across the three games.
With this series win, India completed a hat-trick of whitewashes against the hosts, having won their earlier ODI series by 5-0 and 3-0 margin in 2013 and 2015 when Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, respectively, led the sides.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni achieved two milestones in the series. With 107 wins as captain, he equalled Allan Border for the second highest number of wins in ODI history behind Ricky Ponting (165).
He also became the first Indian wicketkeeper-batsman to complete 350 dismissals in 50-overs cricket.
The two teams begin a three-match Twenty20 international series at the same venue on Saturday, which Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer hopes will provide a fresh slate.
“We won’t dwell on this series defeat for too long - it’s gone,” said Cremer. “Maybe the T20 series is just what we need to get back into a positive frame of mind.”