In the second ODI, which takes place in Harare on Saturday, Zimbabwe will want to improve its batting performance as India concentrates on winning the series. Given that India has pretty good players despite its top stars missing the 50-over assignment, there is a risk that the game may end up being lopsided.

But more than securing a 2-0 lead, the VVS Laxman-led team management would want to give captain KL Rahul some match experience as he was unable to bat in the previous ODI. India played almost flawlessly in the first game of the series, with Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill putting up an unbreakable 192-run partnership and a three-for from a recovered Deepak Chahar.

Rahul will attempt to bat first with a modified order if he wins the toss in Saturday’s second ODI. Rahul may not have played for India during a two-month break, but he still plays a crucial role in the top order, particularly with two important tournaments coming up. Before India’s first match against archrival Pakistan at the Asia Cup on August 28, he would try to sneak inside the zone.

Zimbabwe collapsed for a meager 189 in the series opener, thus Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, and Sanju Samson will undoubtedly prove to be more than a headache for Zimbabwe. Rahul, who is still getting used to India’s much-discussed aggressive strategy, may go up the order and start with Shikhar Dhawan. Additionally, Deepak Hooda might play a few games before the Asia Cup if allowed to bat higher in the order.

Rahul has a variety of openers at his disposal because of the top-heavy batting lineup. Ishan batted at No. 3 but didn’t have an opportunity to bat in the first ODI when Ruturaj Gaikwad sat on the sidelines. Dhawan suffered a forearm injury after the first ODI, and if the damage is severe, Rahul may begin the second match with Gill or Ruturaj.