Ahead of their first ODI against Zimbabwe, Indian vice-captain Shikhar Dhawan said that his side is not taking the hosts for granted in the series. The first ODI between India and Zimbabwe will be played on Thursday in Harare. India is coming to Zimbabwe after a successful tour of the West Indies in which they won both the ODI and T20I series. Zimbabwe is also hosting India after a series win in ODIs and T20Is against Bangladesh at home.
— BCCI (@BCCI) August 16, 2022
“It is good that they (Zimbabwe) won against Bangladesh. I am sure they are playing good cricket. This is good for us too. It will keep us on our toes and we would not take anything for granted. We are here to perform. Irrespective of the team and time, we should focus on getting the process right so that we get the right results,” said Dhawan in a pre-match press conference.
He said it is nice to have opener KL Rahul back in the side and have him lead the team as well. “He is one of the main members of our team. With Asia Cup coming, it is good for him. I am sure he will gain a lot from the tour,” he added.
Dhawan also hoped that all-rounder Washington Sundar will recover soon from his injury. Washington Sundar has been ruled out of the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe due to injury. The All-India Senior Selection Committee named Shahbaz Ahmed as the replacement for Washington Sundar in the series against Zimbabwe. Dhawan, who has been a key opener for India over the years, expressed happiness over the emergence of new opening batters like Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan.
“I feel that they got more exposure, they have got confidence and good technique. Everyone is different. The transition of Indian cricket has been great. Their confidence is sky high due to IPL and domestic cricket. They have blended with international cricket quickly. We feel good as a team that we have so many options and they are doing well,” he said.
India last toured and played against Zimbabwe in 2016 and won the ODI and T20I series. Asked how the team keeps up track of Zimbabwe with less cricket played among them, Dhawan said that technology comes in handy in knowing the position, strengths and weaknesses of the Zimbabwe team. The Delhi-born southpaw said his focus is on performing good and scoring well for his side with a positive mindset. Dhawan had an impressive tour of the West Indies. In three ODIs, he scored 168 runs at an average of 56.00 with the best score of 97. His scores included two fifties. India’s tour of Zimbabwe will start on August 18 and go on till August 22. It will consist of three ODIs.
India squad for 3 ODIs: KL Rahul (Captain) Shikhar Dhawan (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Shahbaz Ahmed, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohd Siraj and Deepak Chahar.