Breaking down India's ODI squad for the tour of Zimbabwe
India will be involved in a three-match ODI series versus Zimbabwe, starting August 18. The Indian cricket team had won successive ODI series against England and West Indies respectively last month and is deemed as the favorites. Notably, KL Rahul is back for the side after being cleared to play by the BCCI medical team. Here we break down India's squad.
Timing, TV listing and dates
All three matches will be played at the Harare Sports Club in Harare. The matches will be played on August 17, 20, and 22 respectively. One can watch the match live on the Sony Ten Network and streamed on the SonyLIV app (paid subscription). The matches will start at 12:45 PM IST.
Rahul is back to lead Team India
KL Rahul has been deemed fit and will lead the side and Dhawan, who was named the captain earlier, will be his deputy. Rahul has been out of action since after IPL 2022. He suffered a groin injury and underwent a successful surgery. He had contracted COVID-19 recently. Rahul last played an ODI for India back in February 2022 versus West Indies.
India's opening dilemma
With Rahul back, it remains to be seen which two batters the management opts for to open the innings. ODI ace Dhawan is assured as an opener but the other choice will be between Rahul and Shubman Gill. The latter got scores of 64, 43, and 98* in the recently concluded ODI series versus WI. Gill could be asked to open once again.
India have good options in batting
Rahul could be utilized at the number three position with no Virat Kohli in the side. He will be keen to showcase his mettle ahead of the Asia Cup. The middle-order is likely to constitute Sanju Samson as the wicket-keeper batter. Deepak Hooda, who has grabbed his chances of late, will get the backing. Ishan Kishan could be used as a floater.
Ruturaj and Tripathi add vitality from the bench
With India's top-order packed, Ruturaj Gaikwad will continue to lend his support from the bench. He is yet to make his ODI debut and has played nine T20Is to date. Rahul Tripathi, who can bat in several positions, looks set to be benched as well.
Axar will garner attention; Sundar doubtful for the tour
Axar Patel is the main all-rounder in this Indian side in the absence of Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya. He has been in good touch of late and brings immense value. Meanwhile, Washington Sundar, who recently suffered a shoulder injury during a List A game in Manchester, England, is doubtful. It remains to be seen if BCCI names a replacement if Sundar is out.
Prasidh to lead India's pace-bowling unit
With no Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Shami, India will look at the squad members for this tour. Shardul Thakur has work to do after some inconsistent performances of late. Prasidh Krishna is a bankable star and will be a valuable asset. Mohammed Siraj and Avesh Khan are in the mix as well. One between the two will make the cut.
Chahar and Kuldeep add desired support
Right-arm Deepak Chahar is back after being on the sidelines for a lengthy period of time. Another player returning to the side is Kuldeep Yadav. The left-arm spinner was cleared after recovering from a hairline wrist fracture. Both are experienced campaigners and add desired support.
India's squad for the Zimbabwe ODIs
India's updated squad for the tour: KL Rahul (c) Shikhar Dhawan (vc), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohd Siraj, Deepak Chahar.Share this timeline