India to play Zimbabwe ODI without KL Rahul

On July 30, the Board of Control For Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the 15-member squad for the upcoming One-Day International (ODI) tour of Zimbabwe. However, the team did not include the services of opening batsman KL Rahul.

It has been speculated that the 30-year-old Indian player decided not to join the tour for various reasons. Some assume that he was not selected due to his wedding to a former model and actress, Athiya Shetty, while others think he is still recovering from a groin injury.

After addressing the issue on Twitter, Rahul confirmed that he would not be participating in the team's next white-ball assignment, which is the tour of the West Indies. He said that he wanted to clarify certain details about his health.

Rahul said he was recovering from a successful surgery in June and was planning on returning to the national team for the tour of the West Indies. However, due to a positive test for Covid-19, he could not join the team's training sessions.

"Hey guys. I wanted to clarify a couple of things about my health and fitness," Rahul said.

"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 West Indies. Unfortunately, as I was nearing a return to full fitness, I tested positive for Covid-19. This naturally pushed 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."

Before the start of India's T20I series against South Africa in June, which was scheduled to be held at home, Rahul injured his groin. He underwent surgery in Germany and was then back at the National Cricket Academy (NCA). After recovering, he was named in the Indian team's T20I squad for the West Indies.

However, after chairman Sourav Ganguly confirmed that the player had contracted Covid-19, which ruled him out of the tournament, Sanju Samson was picked instead.

With the Asia Cup less than a month away, and the window for him to regain his fitness closing fast, he said he was eager to play for India in the upcoming T20I and one-day international tournaments.

Rahul expressed his excitement about playing for the country and said he was eager to return to the field soon. "To represent the National team is the highest honor, and I cannot wait to get back out there in blue. See you soon, KLR," he said.

India's squad for three ODIs against Zimbabwe

Apart from Rahul, former Indian captain and current vice-captain Virat Kohli has also been rested for the upcoming series against Zimbabwe. Other notable absentees include Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, and Rohit Sharma.

While Yuvraj Singh has been rested, including Deepak Chahar and Washington Sundar is a surprise. Both have been out of action for a long time due to injury. Also, fast bowler Kuldeep Yadav has returned to the team after an impressive performance during the home series against South Africa.

The BCCI had also been carefully managing the workloads of its senior players ahead of the upcoming World Cup. The three-match series against Zimbabwe picked a relatively young side, including the likes of Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Prasidh Krishna.

Shikhar Dhawan led India to a comprehensive victory over the West Indies in the recently concluded one-day international series. The young Indian team will now travel to Zimbabwe for the next couple of matches.

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.