The loss doesn't matter

India's loss to Zimbabwe in the first ODI of the tri-series doesn't matter too much. It is definitely a step backwards for us, but not because we lost.

It's pretty clear that the whole point of this series, from the selectors' point of view, is to try out new players - especially uncapped fast bowlers. And going by that, it was a disappointing game.

Vinay Kumar, Ashok Dinda and Umesh Yadav were all playing their first ODI, and barring certain moments, they looked mostly toothless. To be fair, it was a flat pitch and none of them are exactly express. Vinay Kumar picked up a couple of wickets but went for runs at the death. Umesh Yadav didn't bowl a consistent length, but managed to get a few deliveries to rear up. Always a good sign. Ashok Dinda just isn't good enough for international cricket - he had a few good spells in the IPL but he will struggle in different conditions. Bowling-wise, this game showed us again that spin is our strength. Playing Pragyan Ojha would definitely have won us the game, but then we wouldn't have seen much of one of the pacers.

The batting wasn't too great - it was a 350+ pitch and we struggled for the most part, only picking up the pace in the last 10-15 overs when Rohit Sharma went crazy and Jadeja supported him well. Dinesh Karthik and Murali Vijay played out too many dot balls, did the hard work of playing out the new ball while making Mpofu look threatening, and then got themselves in a spot by running poorly. Raina looked comfortable while Sharma was riding his luck. One of the two openers needs to be more aggressive, and I would definitely consider sending in Yusuf at one down - he has played long innings in domestic cricket and an opportunity wouldn't hurt.

Okay, enough rambling about nothing.

Three of Zimbabwe's five biggest chases have been against India.