Shikhar Dhawan praises youngsters, stresses importance of KL Rahul’s return

Zimbabwe v India 3 ODIs: India tour of Zimbabwe from 18 Aug, 2022

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Shikhar Dhawan believes the series against Zimbabwe will hold KL Rahul in good stead, while also praising the youngsters who are a part of the touring party.

India will play Zimbabwe in a three-match ODI series between August 18 and 22, with many youngsters keen to impress. The competition for places in the Indian team is heating up, none more so than at the top of the order. Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill and Ruturaj Gaikwad are all vying for a spot in the team, with Dhawan set to be partnered by the returning KL Rahul.

Addressing the media ahead of the series, Dhawan was asked about how their approach was different from him. The veteran was full of praise for the youngsters, saying, “They’re quite confident and everyone is different. They’ve got good technique.

“The transition for the Indian team has been great because of domestic cricket and the IPL. Their confidence level is quite high and that’s why they blend in international cricket so well.”

India will come up against a Zimbabwe side, who are full of confidence after their ODI and T20I series victory against Bangladesh. Dhawan praised the hosts, claiming that an in-form Zimbabwe side will be a good challenge for the visitors.

“It’s a good thing that they won against Bangladesh and I’m sure they are playing good cricket,” he added. “That’s why they won. It’s a good thing for us. It’s going to keep us on our toes and we cannot take anything for granted or lightly.”

Dhawan was initially set to lead the side before KL Rahul was added to the squad. Rahul will now lead the squad, with the view of getting him some much-needed match practice ahead of the Asia Cup. Rahul has been out of action since the IPL.

On Rahul’s return, Dhawan said, “It’s very good news that KL is back in the side and leading the side. He is one of the main players of the Indian team and with the Asia Cup coming ahead, it’s a good outing for him and I’m sure he will gain a lot from this tour.”

Dhawan also batted for the importance of the ODI format, stating, “It’s a beautiful format. It’s quite a balanced format where you should know when to attack and when to defend. It is not a rushed format. We’ve been playing it for a long time and I enjoy playing it.”

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