India ODI captain for the Zimbabwe series Ajinkya Rahane on Friday credited his team's batsmen as well as the spinners for putting up a dominant show to beat Zimbabwe by 54 runs in their first Twenty20 International at the Harare Sports Club.
Set a target of 179, Zimbabwe only managed 124/7. Their batting charge was made unsuccessful by India's slow bowling pair of Axar Patel (3/17) and Harbhajan Singh (2/29).
Earlier with the bat, Murali Vijay (34 off 19 balls), Rahane (33 off 32 balls) and Robin Uthappa (39 off 35 balls) helped India post a commendable total.
"I think first of all we batted very well. Between 160 and 170 would be a good total and as I said at the toss, our spinners came handy," Rahane said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Rahane said his bowlers supported his batsmen superbly, not letting Zimbabwe score freely on a pitch that got slower as the match progressed.
"It became a little slower later on, but still the bowlers did well. No initial movement so slightly easier to bat in the first innings. The way we batted in the middle overs, taking singles and twos, that was crucial on a big ground," the 27-year-old said.
After scoring just 44 runs in three innings during the recently-concluded ODI series, Uthappa's return to form on Friday helped India maintain control throughout their innings.
The wicketkeeper-batsman opted against his usual big-hitting approach, and instead anchored the innings with his unbeaten 39. "The wicket was very slow -- not like all T20 wickets that you play on all around the world," Uthappa said.
"It was important for me to hold one end up for the side because we needed one batsman to bat through. I was very happy to do that for the team."
(With inputs from AFP)