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India vs Zimbabwe 1st ODI: K.L. Rahul and team is geared up to take down another series

K. L. Rahul and Deepak Chahar is back on the field after a break

India vs Zimbabwe 1st ODI: Team India is ready to lock horns against Zimbabwe in the 1st ODI match of the 3-match ODI series at Harare Sports Club on Thursday. Men in Blue is on a 12-match winning streak against Zimbabwe in ODIs with 11 of them played in Zimbabwe itself.

Team India is also fully confident to take part in the series with consecutive wins against the West Indies and England in the ODI format. India beat England 2-1 and West Indies 3-0 in the ODI format last month.

Zimbabwe cricket has struggled in recent years to build a position in the cricket world and now they are experiencing a change in fortunes in the field. They recently defeated Bangladesh both in the ODI and T20I format. They also won the regional T20 Qualifiers to qualify for the T20 World Cup. Now they got a chance to compete against the cricket giant India.

Zimbabwe will be led by Regis Chakabva in the absence of Craig Ervine in this series. Takudzwanashe Kaitano and Tadiwanashe Marumani may open the batting line-up. Sikandar Raza, Innocent Kaia, Regis Chakabva, and Wesley Madhevere will form their strong middle order like in the previous matches. Sikandar Raze will lead the spin attack with Luke Jongwe, Donald Tiripano, and Richard Ngarva forming the pace bowling attack.

rahul 2 India vs Zimbabwe 1st ODI: K.L. Rahul and team is geared up to take down another series
KL Rahul on a previous match | Fantasy Cricket League

Due to the tight schedule, team India has rested most of their experienced talents like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Hardik Pandya preparing for the Asia Cup 2022. So, team India is testing their young squad again in the Zimbabwe series.

The team will be led by returning K. L. Rahul after a long gap from injury. Today’s match will be Rahul’s first in competitive cricket since the end of the IPL in May. Following his surgery, rehabilitation for his groin injury, and also recovery from Covid-19, Rahul is back on track to lead India to another series win.

Rahul is happy to lead team India and he is thankful to the team management for remembering his contribution to the team in the last two years even though he was absent in the field for two months. “You might be out for two months but they haven’t forgotten what you have done for the team and the country in the last two-three years. Players actually thrive in such an environment, it is this kind of environment that can help a player transform from being a good player to a great player, playing a lot more match-winning innings for his team,”, said Rahul.

Shikhar Dhawan will serve as Rahul’s deputy and may partner him at the top of the order. Deepak Hooda, Shubhman Gill, and Sanju Samson, who excelled in the previous matches, are expected to form a strong middle-order. Axar Patel will be the all-rounder with Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, and Deepak Chahar as the first-choice pacers in the match. Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav may build a partnership to take care of the spin department. Shardul Thakur and Avesh Khan will be available as backup options for the team. Spin all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed has got his maiden entry into team India for the 3-match ODI series as Washington Sundar is injured.  

Team India 1 India vs Zimbabwe 1st ODI: K.L. Rahul and team is geared up to take down another series
Team India for the Zimbabwe series | Fantasy Cricket League

Another player who is focused in the match along with Rahul is Deepak Chahar, who is also returning after a long injury layoff. If he proves his match-sharpness in the next 3 matches, he may pave way for the T20 World Cup. He is already part of the team for the Asia Cup as a reserve where India had just three quicks – Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, and Avesh Khan – in the main squad.

India and Zimbabwe have played a total of 63 ODIs, with India having the advantage of 51 winnings. Zimbabwe has registered only 10 wins. Two matches were a draw. The two teams first faced off in an ODI game in 1983 for the eighth match of the Prudential World Cup in Leicester.

With the records, team India has a chance to win the series as well. Yet a strong opposition may be expected from Zimbabwe while they are preparing for the T20 World Cup. They are now looking forward to testing themselves in the 50-over format against stronger opponents than their previous ones.   

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