Team India return to action in the limited-time format on Thursday when the team take on Zimbabwe in the first of three ODIs in Harare. The team will be led by KL Rahul, who returns to the international setup for the first time since February; while Rahul played in the Indian Premier League, he was ruled out of India’s first assignment since the league with a hamstring injury. Even though Rahul was recalled to the Windies T20I squad, he ultimately had to miss the series after testing positive for Covid-19.
One of the hitters who earned an early ODI call-up for the series was Rahul Tripathi. The 31-year-old star had already received his first-ever Indian call-up for the two-game T20I series against Ireland, but did not feature in any of the matches. However, Tripathi has a better chance of making his international debut against Zimbabwe due to the presence of several openers in the squad.
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With players like KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan being the designated openers for the team, the middle order leaves room for Sanju Samson, Deepak Hooda and Rahul Tripathi in the team. Washington Sundar might also have had a chance in the middle order, but he was ruled out with an injury days before the series opener. Former India striker Paul Valthaty thinks now is the perfect time to hand Tripathi a first cap.
“More than experiments, this configuration follows a certain sequence. Rahul Tripathi had been on the sidelines in the previous series. Personally, I want him to debut. He’s on the other side of the 30s, he was a seasoned activist. It would be great if he got an Indian cap, he could finally live his dream. It would be heartwarming to his family, supporters and childhood coach,” Valthaty said. Hindustan times.
The former Indian cricketer further stated that if both, Ishan Kishan and Rahul Tripathi have an opportunity in the XI, both are likely to occupy positions at No. 4, 5 or 6 in order.
“Yes, there are a lot of openers in the XI. If Ishan Kishan and Rahul Tripathi had a chance, they would probably hit at 4, 5 or 6,” Valthaty said.