Zimbabwe was at 152-2 after 30 overs, requiring another 134 with eight wickets and 20 overs remaining.
Openers Brendan Taylor (73 not out) and Hamilton Masakadza (46) shared a 88-run first wicket partnership to give the home team a strong start.
Masakadza and Greg Lamb (27) were the only Zimbabwean batsman to be dismissed, while Craig Ervine was batting on one.
Earlier in the day, India’s new captain Suresh Raina won his first toss and elected to bat first.
The bedrock of the Team India innings was a dominant fifth-wicket stand between Rohit Sharma (114) and Ravindra Jadeja (61).
Sharma’s fluent innings comprised six fours and four sixes off 119 balls.
The Indian team management has rested eight top players for the series, allowing the introduction of several promising young players.
Elton Chigumbura is captaining Zimbabwe for the first time after being appointed to replace Prosper Utseya, while batsman Ervine is making his debut having previously appeared for Zimbabwe at the recent Twenty20 World Cup. (ANI)