A new-look Indian cricket team (IND) take on hosts Zimbabwe (ZIM) in the first ODI of a three-match series between the teams at Harare Sports Club on Thursday, August 18. The match will start at 12:45 PM IST.

ZIM vs IND Dream11 prediction

While Zimbabwe exceeded expectations against Bangladesh recently, India’s superior form in the 50-over format gives them an outright edge. The team has won each of their last two ODI series against West Indies and England. The last time India were defeated in a bilateral series was in January when they lost to South Africa.

For Zimbabwe, while there remains a glare of hope as the visitors will be without several first-team regulars, there’s no denying the fact that India will still start the contest as favourites.

ZIM vs IND Dream11 team tips for 1st ODI

Top tip: Best batter

Selected by 84.63 per cent of fantasy players, India opener Shikhar Dhawan is the most picked batter for this contest. The 36-year-old has been in brilliant form in 50-over cricket, having scored two half-centuries in his last three outings. Dhawan is absolutely worth spending 10.5 credits on since he’s likely to be among the runs again.

Top tip: Best bowler

Costing a mere 8.5 credits, India’s Shardul Thakur is our fantasy bowling pick for this spot. The 30-year-old was excellent against the West Indies as he ended up being the joint highest wicket-taker with seven scalps in the ODI series. Given that he has some momentum and confidence running through his veins, Thakur is most likely to start for the team on Thursday and make his presence felt with ball as well as bat if need be.

Top tip: Best all-rounder and wicket-keeper

Zimbabwe’s Sikandar Raza is an outright pick for the all-rounder spot. The 36-year-old will head into the contest on the back of a dream series against Bangladesh where he not only ended as the joint highest wicket-taker (5) but also topped the run-scoring charts with 252 runs, including two brilliant match-winning centuries. He was adjudged Player of the Series against Bangladesh in both ODIs and T20Is, making him an in-form threat that India will need to keep an eye on.

Our recommendation for the fantasy wicket-keeper spot would be the Zimbabwe captain Regis Chakabva. The wicket-keeper batter scored 104 runs in two matches against Bangladesh in the ODI series, hence it comes as no surprise that 68.99 per cent of fantasy managers have decided to add him to their teams.

ZIM vs IND full squads

ZIM squad: Regis Chakabva (captain), Tanaka Chivanga, Bradley Evans, Luke Jongwe, Ryan Burl, Innocent Kaia, Kaitano Takudzwanashe, Clive Madande, Wesley Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, John Masara, Tony Munyonga, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba, Donald Tiripano

IND squad: KL Rahul (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohd Siraj, Deepak Chahar, Shahbaz Ahmed

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Featured photo: AFP / Randy Brooks