Laxman to be India's head coach in Zimbabwe as Dravid takes a break

By Sports Desk August 13, 2022

VVS Laxman will take over as India head coach for the upcoming ODI series in Zimbabwe as Rahul Dravid takes a break.

Dravid has been given time off ahead of the Asia Cup, which starts on August 27, so fellow India legend Laxman will step up in his absence.

Laxman, the head of the National Cricket Academy, also took on head coach duties for the tour of Ireland.

India batting coach Vikram Rathourthe and bowling coach Paras Mhambrey have also been given time off, so Hrishikesh Kanitkar and Sairaj Bahutule will fill in for them in Zimbabwe.

Kanitkar was in charge of India's Under-19 Cricket World Cup winning team this year, and this will be his first assignment at senior level.

KL Rahul has been passed fit to captain India after recovering from injury and COVID-19.

The first of three ODIs at the Harare Sports Club will take place next Thursday.

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    The two neighbouring nations, who share a complex history, have not played one another in cricket's longest format since 2007.

    Pakistan have only recently seen the resumption of home matches for the first time in 10 years.

    But the ECB is said to be working on a plan to have India play Pakistan on neutral in England. ESPNcricinfo reports Pakistan are unlikely to take up the offer as the PCB concentrates on hosting matches itself.

    It is an idea that appeals to Moeen – an England international of Pakistani descent.

    "That would be awesome, brilliant," he said. "It's a shame that they don't play each other unless it's a World Cup or an ICC event because they're two great teams and two massive playing nations.

    "With the viewing figures involved, it would be one of the biggest games, and it’s not been done for a very long time.

    "It would be great because Pakistan have a really good bowling attack, and India have a great Test side. It would be really good."

  • Pakistan looking to cast away Asia Cup disappointment as England return after 17 years Pakistan looking to cast away Asia Cup disappointment as England return after 17 years

    England has seen its fair share of historic moments as of late, and the trend will continue when the men's national cricket team plays a first match in Pakistan since 2005.

    The first of seven T20Is takes place in Karachi on Tuesday, with England facing a Pakistan team that lost to Sri Lanka by five wickets in the final of the Asia Cup earlier this month.

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    England are unbeaten in their last five men's T20I matches against Pakistan away from home, winning four and drawing one.

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    They have a 100 per cent winning record in the seven T20Is played at the National Stadium in Karachi. At no other venue have Pakistan won more games in the format without registering a single loss, which does not bode well for the tourists given the first four games of the series will be played there.

    England come into the series having begun a new white-ball era, with head coach Matthew Mott and freshly installed captain Buttler, who took over following the retirement of Eoin Morgan.

    Moeen is taking his role as vice-captain seriously, though, and wants this tour to be the "starting point" as England look ahead to the World Cup in Australia.

    "It's important we don't put pressure on ourselves and say 'we are going to win the World Cup'," he said. "I don't think we're favourites now. We are one of the better sides, but not favourites.

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    "It was brilliant to see the team lifting it, but at the same time, it eats at you inside that you should have been part of it, and you weren't.

    "I guess that drives you on, to improve as a person and a cricketer and get that spot back that you feel you deserve.

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    He continued: "I think I have changed. I've definitely matured. I'm comfortably into my 30s now and turning into a veteran. I feel as though I've grown as a person. Where I am at the moment – on and off the field – is probably the best of my career so far.

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