After a prolonged spell on the sidelines, star Indian batter KL Rahul will return to action soon. He has received the requisite medical clearance after passing the fitness tests organized by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
As a result, he has not only been included in the squad to face Zimbabwe, he will also lead the side during the three-match ODI series which begins on August 18. All the three matches will be held at the Harare Sports Club in the country capital.
The BCCI had earlier mandated a compulsory two-week post-COVID19 recovery time frame which has been strictly adhered to in the case of Rahul. The 30-year-old had apparently contracted the virus just a week before the team was supposed to depart for the West Indies, where he had also been initially included in the squad. Unfortunately, he fell ill in the middle of July and had to miss the five-match T20I series in the Caribbean.
Following his recovery, Rahul has had to go through several cardiovascular tests which assess the condition of his lungs and his SPO2 levels. After this, the player was put on a training regimen which slowly amped in intensity in order to increase his fitness levels. Sources from ESPNCricinfo also suggest that over the past week, he has been batting and training at maximum intensity and that the medical staff have been satisfied with his progress.
It must also be added here that before contracting the novel Coronavirus, KL Rahul had also missed action for several weeks after undergoing a sports hernia surgery in Germany in June. As a result, he has hardly played competitive cricket since the conclusion of IPL 2022 where he had led his side Lucknow Super Giants to the qualifiers in their maiden campaign.
While he was initially set to be included for the tour of England, he had to pull out because of groin strain, which was later revealed as sports hernia. Rahul has also been added to India’s Asia Cup squad in UAE.
With Rahul resuming leadership, Shikhar Dhawan, who was originally supposed to captain the side in Zimbabwe after leading India to a 3-0 ODI series win against West Indies, has been appointed as deputy captain instead. This will be the 30-year-old’s second stint as Indian captain. His first outing was far from memorable as the Men in Blue slumped to a 3-0 series defeat against South Africa earlier this year.