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KL Rahul to take over as India captain in Zimbabwe

KL Rahul has been named India captain for the three-match ODI tour of Zimbabwe from August 18 to 22. Shikhar Dhawan, who was previously tasked to lead the team, will now serve as vice-captain. Rahul has also been named to the India squad for the 2022 Asia Cup, which begins on August 27 in the United Arab Emirates.

Rahul will captain India for the second time. His first ODI century against Zimbabwe was in 2016 when India lost 3-0 in South Africa. The batter has not participated in competitive cricket since the end of the 2022 Indian Premier League season.

The 30-year-old was supposed to join the fifth Test against England in Birmingham in early July. He was unable to participate due to a groin injury that was diagnosed as a sports hernia.

He later tested positive for COVID-19 a week before his scheduled departure for the five-match T20I series in the West Indies in mid-July. The Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) medical team has since evaluated his health and cleared him to play. After passing the mandatory cardiovascular test, Rahul resumed batting and training last week, according to ESPNcricinfo.

Rahul’s record

Rahul was a member of India's Under-19 World Cup squad in 2010. He made his first-class debut later that year. He took some time to establish himself as a first-class cricketer in the 2013-14 season. He was crucial in Karnataka's Ranji Trophy victory with 1033 runs, including three centuries, three nineties, and a Man-of-the-Match performance in the final.

During the subsequent IPL auction, Rahul signed with Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs. 1 crore (approximately US$ 166,000). He was a regular member of their squad in 2014, mostly as a wicketkeeper-batsman.

Rahul had a mediocre tour of Australia with India A team in July-August 2014, starting every time he batted in the unofficial Tests but only scoring 52 runs. By the start of the 2014-15 domestic season, his appetite for runs returned. His twin centuries in the Duleep Trophy final earned him a spot in India's Test squad for their tour of Australia.

Team India for tour of Zimbabwe

Team India will begin its tour of Zimbabwe on the 18th of this month for the first time in six years. The tour comprises three One-Day International matches. The first ODI of the series will be held on August 18. The second and the third will be on the 20th and 22nd, respectively. The entire series will take place at Harare Sports Club.

Rahul and Dhawan will lead a squad comprising Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Josh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohammad Siraj, and Deepak Chahar.

Rohit Sharma, the team's regular captain, has been rested for the series, along with other key players, including Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, and Suryakumar Yadav.

Samson and Ishan Kishan are expected to join the squad on August 15 in Harare. Rahul Dravid is unlikely to join the party as the head coach because Team India will fly to Dubai for a short Asia Cup camp. VVS Laxman will take his place.

India and Zimbabwe have played 63 ODIs against each other. India won 51 ODIs, while Zimbabwe won 10. Out of 23 games played in Zimbabwe, India won 19 and lost four.

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.