An expected event happened in Harare on Thursday, and an unexpected one. India beat Zimbabwe in the first ODI match of the series. But KL Rahul did not come down to open. There was only one reason why Rahul was brought into the squad for the last-minute tour of Zimbabwe. Batting practice time was given before Asia Cup. But because Rahul did not open, that opportunity did not come in front of the Indian captain.
Details of the match
Pacer Deepak Chahar pushed Zimbabwe who got off to bat first. He returned to the field after some time and picked up three wickets for 27 runs and was selected as the best cricketer of the match. Apart from Chahar, pacer Prasidh Krishna and left-arm spinner Akshar Patel took three wickets each. Zimbabwe ended the innings on 189 runs. After that, India took the winning run without losing any wickets. Gill and Dhawan remained unbeaten with 82 and 81 respectively.
Apart from Dhawan, there are three more openers in this Indian team. They are Shubman, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Rahul himself. Before the start of the match, former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar said that someone has to sacrifice. It was seen that captain Rahul made that sacrifice. Manjrekar said, “Dhawan will open. Now two of the remaining three will have to leave their place. We have seen in the past, that Rahul has scored big runs in the opener. But if he comes in later, he does not get such a chance to play big innings.”
The same thing happened against Zimbabwe. Dhawan and Shubman gave up the target of 190 runs with a smile. The rest did not need to bat. Shubman came to open in place of Rahul. The former night opener has been in good form since the IPL. That Shubman was also seen in the field of Harare. He scored 82 runs off 72 balls. Hit ten fours, a six. 81 runs from 113 balls came from Dhawan’s bat.
Captain Rahul praised the bowlers after the match. “It was important to pick wickets early on. The ball was moving. That’s why it was important to keep the ball in the right place. It was good to see the bowlers put the ball in the right place,” he said.
Rahul’s comment about his return to the field, “Life was boring with rehab, physio. It feels great to be back on the field. We want to spend 365 days on the field rather than spending time with the physio.”
On the other hand, Deepak Chahar started playing international cricket after about six and a half months. At the prize distribution ceremony after the match, Chahar informed that he got the result of handling the stress of nerves.
Chahar said, “I had trouble getting the footing of mine. I got hurt on my nails while bowling. I slipped in the beginning. But gradually I adapted to the situation.” He added, “I played an international match after six and a half months.”