Rahane to lead second-string squad in Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwe tour has always been a courtesy ritual for the Indians. The BCCI prefers touring and inviting countries that will attract eyeballs and Zimbabwe certainly doesn’t fit that bill. The interest has never been very high in touring Zimbabwe. In fact, a few days back, the tour itself was under serious threat, with speculations rife that the tour was on the verge of being called off. But then, it didn’t.

The squad for the Zimbabwe tour has been announced and it is no surprise that it’s an absolute second string team that will be fielded there. For your benefit, it will be Ajinkya Rahane who will be leading the team there.

Interestingly, there’s one senior though who’s made the cut: Harbhajan Singh. Robin Uthappa will also don the national colours.

India will play three one-day internationals and two T20 internationals starting from July 10.

Why are the seniors MIA?

It’s absolutely agreed that the Indian cricket team is playing way too much cricket. But then, why send a full fledged team to one country, while field a second class team in another? Why pack the schedules so much? Why promise a country a tour and send a team that does no good? Point to be noted: Dhoni, Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin and even Umesh Yadav have been rested.

 

Overconfident, much?

The kind of thrashing that the Indian team got at the hands of so-called minnows Bangladesh, despite fielding a full-strength team was embarrassing to say the least. Sending a second string team to yet another one of the minnow countries looks a bit like inviting trouble. The real test would have been perhaps to send the full strength team, with a balanced bench strength as well to check if there is something really wrong.  

 

Bench-strength tested?

It’s a great thing that the bench-strength is being tested. In fact, there are a few really talented names in the squad that has been announced. Chief selector Sandeep Patil expressed confidence in Rahane saying, “He is one of the most consistent batsmen, we want to see the other angle also. We are sure that he will succeed.” That’s encouraging for any player, but a win against a minnow will not work any kind of wonder for any team, while a loss will just mar their confidence forever.

Squad: Ajinkya Rahane (C), Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu, Manoj Tiwari ,Kedar Jadhav, Robin Uthappa, Manish Tiwari, Harbhajan Singh, Axar Patel, Karn Sharma, Dhawal Kulkarni, Stuart Binny, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma.

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