Returning Rahul eager to create more 'great memories' in Zimbabwe

By Sports Desk August 17, 2022

KL Rahul is determined to add to the "great memories" of facing Zimbabwe when he returns as captain in a three-match ODI series.

Rahul has not played for almost three months after undergoing a hernia operation and suffering with COVID-19.

The batter has been passed fit to lead India at Harare Sports Club, where the opening match of the series will be staged on Thursday, with VVS Laxman stepping in as India head coach while Rahul Dravid takes a break.

Rahul scored an unbeaten century on his ODI debut at the same venue six years ago and is eager to make up for lost time.

He told reporters on Wednesday: "My ODI and T20I debut was in Harare. I got a 100 in my first game, so I have great memories here.

"Hopefully I can add on to those memories. Coming back here after so many years and getting the opportunity to lead your country, obviously when you look back, it's very pleasing.

"As a person you can see how much you've grown and how far you've come as a player. It gives me great joy. Hopefully I can add to those good memories and play some good cricket over the next week."

India suffered a 3-0 series defeat to South Africa in Rahul's only previous series as skipper, but the tourists will be expected to dish out a whitewash of their own in Harare.

Shikhar Dhawan captained India to a 3-0 clean sweep of West Indies in the 50-over format last month and the opener will be vice-captain as they look for a fourth consecutive series triumph.

Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant are among the players who have been rested ahead of the Asia Cup. Shahbaz Ahmed will be hoping to make his debut after the all-rounder replaced the injured Washington Sundar.

Zimbabwe ended a three-year wait for an ODI series win by beating Bangladesh 2-1, but this will be a much bigger challenge. 

Regis Chakabva will skipper the hosts in the absence of Craig Ervine, who is out with a torn hamstring.

 

Chahar must make his mark

Deepak Chahar will make his long-awaited return after a six-month absence due to quad and back injuries.

With so much competition for places, the seamer will know he must take his chance. The 30-year-old was not included in India's Asia Cup squad, but he is on standby.

Raza key to Zimbabwe's hopes

Sikandar Raza was named player of the series in Zimbabwe's triumph over the Tigers this month.

The all-rounder scored two centuries, as well as taking five wickets, and Zimbabwe will look to him to contribute again with both bat and ball.

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