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ZIM vs IND: Team India skipper KL Rahul needs game time

Updated on: 20 August,2022 07:06 AM IST  |  Harare

While Indian skipper showed his elder statesman-like qualities by letting Dhawan and Gill open in the first ODI, it is essential for KL to bat in today’s second ODI v Zimbabwe, before Asia Cup

ZIM vs IND: Team India skipper KL Rahul needs game time

KL Rahul. Pic/AFP

Skipper KL Rahul would hope to get some valuable batting time as the Indian team is expected to recalibrate its goals to create some challenge for itself in the remaining two ODIs against Zimbabwe. The gulf between the two teams would always make these kind of bilateral contests lopsided, but bigger goal for the Men in Blue would be to push the limits.

The immediate target for the side would be to try and bat first in case Rahul wins the toss in Saturday’s second ODI. The early start on a bouncy track and sufficient nip in the air would pose some challenge for the batters. Battling the conditions would be a good test for Rahul and his batters. Deepak Chahar had pointed out after the first game that there is little help for the bowlers during the second session and the only time there’s some challenge for batters is the first hour of the match.

Before facing the might of Shaheen Shah Afridi in Asia Cup, a morning session with deliveries moving both sides, albeit with a gentle pace, would be decent enough extended net session for Rahul. While Captain Rahul showed his elder statesman like qualities by letting Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill open in the first game, the Batter Rahul also needs to get his priorities right before the Asia Cup.

Also Read: Excellent South Africa pacers blow away England in 1st Test

New philosophy

He needs to quickly adapt to Team India’s “attack at all costs from the onset” philosophy and that can’t just happen overnight. Similarly Deepak Hooda, if given a chance to bat up the order, can also build his confidence. Then there is Sanju Samson, If he plays at No.4, it gives him ample scope to build an innings of significance.

For acting head coach VVS Laxman, as much as he would like to experiment, he wouldn’t mind winning the series first before giving some of the reserves a chance to test themselves. Therefore a left-right combination of Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul won’t be a bad option in case Shikhar Dhawan’s forearm injury sustained towards the end of the match turns out to be serious.

Winning series is priority

Winning the series is important, but creating different kind of situations and testing the game awareness of the younger lot in pressure cooker scenario should be on the checklist. Chahar bowling seven overs at one stretch is a good sign and indicator that he is gradually building up his workload.

Just like batting in morning could be a challenge for Rahul & Co, bowling in the warm afternoon conditions with no lateral movement on offer would test the character of pacers and their improvisation skills.

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