Team India have left for their tour of Zimbabwe, during which they will play three ODIs in Harare from August 18 to 22. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday (August 13), shared some in-flight pictures of Indian cricketers on its official social media handles.
The Men in Blue will be led by KL Rahul during the series in Zimbabwe, while National Cricket Academy (NCA) chief VVS Laxman will serve as acting head coach.
In the images shared by BCCI, Shikhar Dhawan, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj, among others, all look excited for the African challenge. The Indian cricket board uploaded the pictures with the caption:
“Zimbabwe bound! ✈️ #TeamIndia | #ZIMvIND.”
All three matches of the India-Zimbabwe series will be played at the Harare Sports Club.
Youngsters like Ruturaj Gaikwad, Rahul Tripathi and Shubman Gill have been picked for the series as the main squad will be heading to the UAE for the Asia Cup, which starts on August 27.
The Zimbabwe series will mark Rahul’s return to international cricket. He was not part of the squad that was initially announced. However, once he received the fitness clearance, the BCCI named him captain for the tour.
Dhawan, who was earlier named skipper for the series, will now be his deputy.
Why VVS Laxman was picked as coach for Zimbabwe series
Due to the short turnaround time between the Zimbabwe ODIs and the Asia Cup, the BCCI decided to send Laxman as coach with the Indian team for the ODIs.
BCCI secretary Jay Shah confirmed to PTI:
"Yes, VVS Laxman will be in charge of the Indian team in Zimbabwe for the three-match ODI series. It's not like Rahul Dravid is taking a break.
"The ODI series in Zimbabwe finishes on August 22 and Dravid along with Indian team will reach the UAE on August 23. Since there is little gap between the two events, Laxman will be in charge of the Indian squad in Zimbabwe."
Shah further explained:
"Since only KL (Rahul) and (Deepak) Hooda are there with the ODI squad in Zimbabwe, it was only logical that the head coach would be with the T20 squad."
Team India’s squad for Zimbabwe series: KL Rahul (Captain) Shikhar Dhawan (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohd Siraj, Deepak Chahar.