Shikhar to lead India in ODIs on Zimbabwe tour; Chahar, Sundar return, Tripathi called up (Ld)

Opener Shikhar Dhawan will lead India in the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe, set to be played in Harare from August 18, the BCCI announced on Saturday.

The 36-year old Dhawan, who had also led India recently and guided them to a 3-0 series whitewash in West Indies, will captain once again in absence of Rohit Sharma, who has been rested for Zimbabwe ODI’s.

Apart from Rohit, most of the regular ODI members — Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya and Mohammad Shami — have also been given rest.

Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Arshdeep Singh and Yuzvendra Chahal, who were all part of the ODIs in the West Indies, have been left out. While there has been no official word on the selections, or non-selections, it is understood that these players are being rotated as part of the BCCI’s policy keeping in mind the packed international calendar.

Shubman Gill, who won the Player of the Series in the West Indies ODIs, retained his spot, as did Sanju Samson.

Meanwhile, pacer Deepak Chahar and allrounder Washington Sundar have made their comebacks to the team. Both Washington and Deepak last played an ODI for India during the home series against West Indies earlier this year.

Chahar had picked up a hamstring injury in his last international assignment in February 2022 and has since been undergoing rehab at the NCA in Bengaluru. He was forced to miss the IPL 2022 for Chennai Super Kings after failing to recover in time.

Sundar, on the other hand, suffered an injury to his bowling hand during IPL 2022 and subsequently sat out of the home series against South Africa, the Ireland and England tours. However, he made his comeback in competitive cricket after signing up with Lancashire for the County season.

Meanwhile, Rahul Tripathi, who recently received his maiden India call-up earlier for India’s tour of Ireland, is still uncapped across formats but now has got a shot at the 50-over format. It has been learnt that KL Rahul hasn’t yet recovered sufficiently after first undergoing surgery for a sports hernia and then suffering from a bout of Covid-19. As a result, he misses out.

Kuldeep Yadav, who missed South Africa T20Is at home as well as the white-ball tours of Ireland and England due to a hairline fracture in his right wrist, recently received the green signal from the NCA medical team after recovering from injury.

He is in the squad that is currently playing in the T20I series in the West Indies and has been also named for the Zimbabwe ODIs. Kuldeep last played in the IPL for Delhi Capitals, where he picked up 21 wickets in 14 matches.

All the three ODIs will be played in Harare, with the first one scheduled on August 18. The next two ODIs are on August 20 and 22; the Asia Cup starts on August 27.

India ODI squad: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Kishan (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohd Siraj, Deepak Chahar

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