Have a young yet balanced team for Zimbabwe series: Rahane

Mumbai, July 6 (IANS) Ahead of India’s tour of Zimbabwe, beginning July 10, new skipper Ajinkya Rahane on Monday exuded confidence that they have a young yet balanced side that will emerge victorious in the series.

Rahane was named captain of the 15-member team as Test skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and regular One-Day International (ODI) Virat Kohli, among other seniors, were rested for the series.

India leave for Zimbabwe on Tuesday morning to play three ODIs and two Twenty20 internationals. India face the hosts in the first ODI on July 10.

“We have a very good team, a balanced team. I am sure that as a team we will do well in Zimbabwe. We are confident that we will do well and win in Zimbabwe,” Rahane said here at a press conference.

Speaking on the new ODI rules brought in by International Cricket Council (ICC), the skipper said, “the new rules will be very exciting and challenging for us but we will have to wait and see what will happen.”

“We will get an idea after the first ODI once we play against Zimbabwe. It will be really exciting and challenging for all the players, batsmen and bowlers as well.”

“We will have to come up with new plans because as per the new rules you can have four fielders outside the 30-yard circle in the last 10 overs. It will take time and we will have to see how it goes as far as the new rules are concerned,” he added.

The 27-year-old backed veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to perform well in the tour after making a comeback to the team against Bangladesh in the one-off Test match last month.

“Harbhajan has been a star performer for our country. He has been doing really well and I am happy for him because he came back so strongly. He bowled pretty well all season and in the Test match against Bangladesh. Whenever needed I will go to him and ask about his experience and strategies,” he said.

Speaking about the young team at his disposal he said, “It is a good opportunity for all the youngsters to express themselves at the international level. All the players who have been selected for this tour did pretty well in the Indian Premier League as well as in domestic cricket.”

“I am pretty confident about this bunch of guys that whoever gets the opportunity will do well. As a team our only motto will be to do well in Zimbabwe and get back to our winning habit.”

The right-hand middle order batsman said skippering the Mumbai Under-19 team will help deal with the burden of captaincy.

“I have captained Mumbai in the Under-19 level and in the T20 format for Mumbai. My experience was quite good even though we could not finish on the winning side but I can certainly use some of that experience in Zimbabwe,” Rahane said.

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