Many young Indian supporters might not know this but Zimbabwe were once a force to be reckoned with in world cricket. The Zimbabwe vs India rivalry goes as far back as 1983 when India were the underdogs against the Chevrons. From India’s Kapil Dev to Zimbabwe’s Andy Flower, many iconic players have blessed us when the two cricket giants clashed.
With India’s tour of Zimbabwe right around the corner, let us reminisce on some iconic players who have featured in Zimbabwe vs India clashes in the past
Kapil Dev has played his fair share of India-Zimbabwe matches. The first Indian to score a century in cricket, Kapil achieved this feat against the mighty Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup. That match between India and Zimbabwe, where Kapil Dev entered the pitch at 78/7 and ended the innings at 266/8 is a story that still gives chills to those who hear it.
India won the fixture, all thanks to the masterclass of Kapil Dev, who single-handedly won India the match.
Douglas Marillier is one of Zimbabwe’s most iconic players of all time. An example of his masterclass is when his side played against India in 2002. Zimbabwe stared down the barrel of defeat when their scoreboard read 253/9 in the 48th over. Marillier, who entered at no. 10, ended up scoring a 21-ball fifty to help save the Chevrons from the jaws of defeat and turned the tables against the Men in Blue, who were on the verge of a victory.
His famous scoop shot over the wicketkeeper in the same match was named the “Marillier scoop”; a shot which is very commonly played by batsmen in modern cricket.
One of the most decorated players to have represented Zimbabwe, Andy Flower is a highly-acclaimed player who has played for the Chevrons. He featured in one of the most iconic matches between India and Zimbabwe in 2002, the same match where Douglas Marillier displaced his masterclass. Against the likes of Zaheer Khan and Anil Kumble, who had decimated the Zimbabwe batting order, Flower scored an impressive 71 off 72 balls, to keep the Chevrons in the match.
He smashed eight boundaries and a couple of maximums, the most sixes by a Zimbabwean in that match.
Sachin Tendulkar has faced Zimbabwe many times in his career spanning over two decades. One of his most iconic matches against the Chevrons came in the final of the Coca-Cola Champions Trophy in UAE. The ‘Master Blaster’ smashed a whopping 124 off 92 balls, which included 12 fours and 6 sixes. While India needed 196 runs in 50 overs to win the final, a relentless Sachin wrapped things up in just 30.
Sachin gave Zimbabwe a thorough thrashing in an era when people were still not used to seeing such explosive batting.
One of Zimbabwe’s most prolific batters, Alistair Campbell was surely a joy to watch. In his 11 years of playing cricket, he has faced India many times. One of his iconic matches against India happened in the 2000 Coca-Cola Champions Trophy, where he remained unbeaten in an innings where none of his teammates could score more than 26. Campbell ended the first innings with a stunning 105*, taking the Zimbabwe total to 218/9.
However, his efforts were in vain as India chased down the target with nine balls remaining and won by three wickets.
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