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Zimbabwe ODI tour: India announce 15-man squad on Saturday

On Saturday, India announced the 15-man squad for the Zimbabwe ODI tour, with Shikhar Dhawan leading the team. The player composition is almost similar to the ODI series against West Indies, with the addition of all-rounders Deepak Chahar and Washington Sundar who will return after injury recoveries.

During the three-match ODIs against West Indies, Dhawan led India to win with a clean sweep 3-0. This achievement made the Indian cricket team appoint him again for the captain position in Rohit Sharma’s absence.

This tour will be Chahar’s first comeback after missing matches for six months. He suffered a quadriceps injury in February, during a T20I series against West Indies.

Later, Chahar experienced a back injury which prolonged his absence from the team. He did not only miss international matches, but also the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL).

The ODI series also marks Sundar’s return to international cricket since the home ODI series against West Indies. He has regained his fitness as he is currently playing for Lancashire in county-level cricket in England.

It is India’s first tour to Zimbabwe since 2016. The ODI series consists of three matches. They are scheduled to be held on August 18, 20, and 22 at Harare Cricket Ground.

Several players absent

Several players are notably excluded from the 15-man squad. In addition to Sharma, veteran Virat Kohli and KL Rahul will not participate in the tour. India also surprisingly did not include Rahul Tripathi.

On Saturday, the board discussed the possibility of including KL Rahul in the Zimbabwe tour. However, it was reported that the batsman had not recovered from COVID-19 and as a result, was ineligible for the tour. He was supposed to join the West Indies tour too before his COVID-19 diagnosis.

Past reports also suggested that Kohli would make his return on the Zimbabwe tour, but his future remains unclear for now. Previously, Kohli opted out of the West Indies tour to focus on recovery after a groin injury. He was also under public scrutiny due to low records in all cricket categories in the past few years.

As for Tripathi, his absence was a surprise because the new debutant had shown a strong batting performance in the past international matches. He participated in the T20I series against Ireland and the first match against England, but so far had never been included in the ODI squad.

Upcoming schedule

India cricket board opted to split the team for the Zimbabwe tour and the 2022 Asia Cup that will be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The championship will run from August 27 to September 11.

Suryakumar Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Shreyas Iyer, and Yuzvendra Chahal are among the list of players who will not fly to Harare but will participate in the Asia Cup. The Cricbuzz also reported that KL Rahul might be fit enough to join the squad.

The complete roster for the Asia cup has yet to be announced and the board has until August 8 to make their decision. Reports say that the squad for the Asia Cup will also represent India in T20 World Cup starting this October in Australia.

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.