Speedster Deepak Chahar and ace spinner Kuldeep Yadav returned to the Indian squad for the ODIs against Zimbabwe, with Shikhar Dhawan leading the side.
Dhawan recently lead the Men in Blue to a 3-0 win over the West Indies in the just-concluded ODI series, and in the absence of regular skipper Rohit Sharma, Dhawan has been given the responsibility to lead the team against Zimbabwe. It is understood that K.L. Rahul, who underwent a surgery recently and was down with COVID-19, is yet to recover from forcing the national selectors to ignore him for the Zimbabwe series.
With the Asia Cup set to begin in the UAE from August 27, senior players Rohit, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested, while Rahul Tripathi, who represents Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL) has earned a maiden ODI call-up.
Tripathi had a standout IPL season with SRH as he scored 413 runs at an average of 37.55 in the 14 matches that he featured in. He scored three fifties this season, with the best score of 76 and a strike rate of 158.23.
Washington Sundar also makes his return to the side after an injury. He has recently started his stint with Lancashire in County Cricket and had grabbed a five-wicket haul against Northamptonshire.
India will play against Zimbabwe in three ODIs from August 18 to August 22.
Rubbishing reports claiming that K.L. Rahul’s hamstring injury has resurfaced, the India batter clarified that he is recovering from COVID-19 and that’s the reason why his return to the national side has been pushed back. “My surgery in June was successful and I had begun training with the hope of returning to national duty for the team’s tour of the West Indies. Unfortunately, as I was nearing a return to full fitness, I tested positive for COVID-19,” Rahul wrote on his social media handle.
“This naturally pushes things back by a couple of weeks, but I aim to recover as quickly as possible, and be available for selection as soon as I can. To represent the national team is the highest honour and I cannot wait to get out there back in blue,” he wrote.
Asia Cup squad likely on August 8
With August 8 being the deadline to announce the squad for the Asia Cup, the national selection committee is expected to name the India squad by next week. Sources indicate that the selectors will bring back all the big guns - Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah - for the multi-nation event, which will be played in the United Arab Emirates later next month.
The BCCI insiders indicate that the 15-member side that will travel to the UAE for the Asia Cup is expected to continue till the T20 World Cup. “The plan is to keep the core intact, of course, injuries are beyond control. But as far as the team management is concerned, they want to continue with the same set of players for the T20 World Cup,” an insider said.