India v Zimbabwe First T20I: Latest Odds & Analysis

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India v Zimbabwe First T20I: Latest Odds & Analysis

India v Zimbabwe predictions: 

When: Saturday 6 July, 4:30pm IST

Where: Harare Sports Club, Harare

Watch: Sony Sports, SonyLIV

Best Odds: India 1.1, Zimbabwe 6.25

The only cure for an overload of T20 cricket is more T20 cricket, right?

Probably not, but this series will mean the world to many of the up to 18 players who could take part in this five-game series over the space of two weekends and one Wednesday evening. 

Whilst India’s T20 World Cup-winning squad takes a well earned rest back home, the best of the rest have flown to Harare as part of India’s newfound commitment to giving fringe nations such as Zimbabwe and Ireland more regular bilateral cricket to grow the game globally. 

The T20I retirements of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja have immediately opened up three doors into India’s best XI for their title defence in 2026, which makes this series immensely important for those who have the best chance to stake their claim. 

Two weekend double-headers (Saturday and Sunday afternoon games) means that squad rotation will probably be high on the agenda, especially with the trio of Shubman Gill, Shivam Dube and Sanju Samson missing the first weekend after they were stranded in Barbados by Hurricane Beryl.

Zimbabwe have also made quite a few changes to their team that failed to qualify for the T20 World Cup as 38-year-old captain Sikandar Raza calls on the next generation to anchor the rebuild, whilst they have also welcomed Wesley Madhevere and Brandon Mavuta back from drug bans.

Our favourite Indian cricket betting sites are offering as many markets on this series as they would on any others, so as part of our ongoing commitments we’ll crunch the numbers and find three value bets on the first, third and fourth games of the series.

The Numbers That Matter

  • India won 18 of their last 20 ODIs/T20Is away to Zimbabwe
  • The average run rate in Harare T20Is since 2022 is 7.51rpo
  • Two-thirds of games in that period were won chasing (eight of 12)
  • Sikandar Raza scored 40+ in five of his last seven Harare T20Is

India’s new pair off to a solid start

The temporary withdrawal of Yashasvi Jaiswal from the opening two matches of the series means that Abhishek Sharma is likely to make his T20I debut and accompany captain Shubman Gill at the top of the order after his breakout IPL season.

Perhaps that should say ‘record breaking’ instead of ‘breakout’ given the new frontiers that he and Travis Head both crossed as he finished third on the IPL run scoring charts with 343 at a blistering scoring rate of 12.17 runs per over.

Such strike rates aren’t to be expected on the slower pitches of the Harare Sports Club, but he also showed his longevity by getting out of the powerplay overs in eight of 17 innings.

Along with the assured innings builder Gill, who didn’t have the most consistent IPL campaign but finished it off with 104 against Chennai, they should put together a solid powerplay for the visitors.

Zimbabwe’s last two T20Is saw them open the batting with the promising up-and-comer Brian Bennett and the tried and tested Tadiwanashe Marumani, who continues to be selected despite struggling terribly at international level

We’ll have more to say about Marumani’s individual numbers later in the piece, but as far as this is concerned Zimbabwe’s average opening partnership against full member teams when he is involved is just 15 runs. 

Prediction: India highest opening partnership - 1.61 @ 22Bet Sports

Adventurous Abhishek to sparkle on debut

We’re effectively going all-in on India’s opening partnership being the better of the two by also backing Abhishek Sharma to score 25+ on international debut.

He already has a wealth of travelling experience under his belt, having played Youth ODIs in four overseas countries including at the 2018 U19 World Cup in New Zealand.

One of his most memorable knocks of the IPL was when he scored 27 runs in one Mukesh Choudhary over on a Hyderabad pitch that wasn’t quick or bouncy to begin with, which is the kind of conditions he could face in Harare.

Described by Tom Moody as the best uncapped Indian player of current times, he certainly bats much more confidently than he speaks and should appreciate the width that the likes of Muzarabani and Ngarava can sometimes offer.

Cricket betting apps are expecting him to register a score around the 24.5 run mark, and with two opening places up for grabs, he could very well fast-track his way into the best XI.

Prediction: Abhishek Sharma over 24.5 runs - 1.83 @ 22Bet Sports

On the other hand…

It’s a sad reflection of the lack of depth in Zimbabwe cricket that Tadiwanashe Marumani has been getting away with producing poor numbers for three years now, but at age 22 the board and team management see a lot of potential in him for years to come.

Even the might of India’s second string bowling attack in his own capital city could be too much, however.

On home soil, Marumani has batting averages of ten in both ODIs (10.42 from eight innings) and T20Is (10.61 from 13 innings). 

His career T20I average of just 12.62 is propped up by his two highest scores of 50 and 39*, both of which came in Windhoek against Rwanda and Tanzania in their unsuccessful bid to qualify for the recent T20 World Cup.

Without those 89 runs, it drops to just 9.69, whilst on only five other occasions from his 28 career matches saw him clear the 16.5 run mark set by betting sites in India.

Prediction: Tadiwanashe Marumani under 16.5 runs - 1.83 @ 22Bet Sports

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