October 5, 2022

Harare, Aug 18: Stand-in captain KL Rahul has won the toss and elected to bowl first against Zimbabwe in the opening match of the ODI series at Harare Sports Club on Thursday.

Rahul will be playing his first competitive match since featuring in IPL 2022 in May this year. A groin injury subsequently led to sports hernia surgery and testing positive for Covid-19 meant the right-handed batter had to spend lengthy time on the sidelines.

Alongside Rahul, pace all-rounder Deepak Chahar is coming back after injuries to left quadriceps and back, which kept him out of cricketing action since February this year. Both Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson are in the playing eleven, with the latter to be the wicket-keeper.

“Looks like a good wicket, it’s an early start, so could have a bit of moisture. Good opportunity to bowl first and exploit the first hour. A lot of guys have got opportunities, good chance to challenge yourself and your skills.”

“Looking forward to a good show. He (Deepak Chahar) was unfortunate to miss out for a long time, excited for a few coming back after injuries,” said Rahul.

Zimbabwe skipper Regis Chakabva remarked that he was looking to bowl first as well. He added that Tadiwanashe Marumani will open with Innocent Kaia and Richard Ngarava is in the playing eleven as well. Also in the eleven is all-rounder Sean Williams, who wasn’t in the initial squad due to personal reasons.

“But this looks like a good wicket and will stay true for the rest of the day. It’s something we’ve spoken about (about top-order collapses), looking to sort it out,” said Chakabva.

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Playing XIs

India: Shubman Gill, Shikhar Dhawan, Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul (captain), Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Deepak Hooda, Axar Patel, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna and Mohammed Siraj

Zimbabwe: Tadiwanashe Marumani, Innocent Kaia, Sean Williams, Wessly Madhevere, Sikandar Raza, Regis Chakabva (captain & wicket-keeper), Ryan Burl, Luke Jongwe, Bradley Evans, Victor Nyauchi and Richard Ngarava