Former Pakistan player Danish Kaneria believes KL Rahul might bat in the top order in the remaining games of the Zimbabwe series.
Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill starred in a clinical performance by the visitors to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
India beat Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in first ODI
After Indian bowlers, boosted by the return of Deepak Chahar, displayed sheer brilliance to fold up Zimbabwe’s innings at 189 in 40.3 overs.
Playing his first competitive game since February 2022, Chahar claimed a three-wicket-haul with figures 3/27.
Chahar was well supported by Axar Patel (3/24) and Prasidh Krishna (3/50) in decimating the Africans’ batting lineup.
Gill (82 not out off 72 balls) and Dhawan (81 not out off 113 balls) mustered their third 100-plus stand in the last four innings to take India past the finishing line with 115 balls to spare.
The openers bided their time and showed no haste in the chase, playing their natural strokes and not letting the hosts get into the game at any moment. Dhawan was watchful with Gill dealing with the new ball.
Dhawan scored three boundaries in the powerplay overs and added one more off Sean Williams in the 13th over. Gill, surprisingly, had not hit a single boundary till that point. He broke in the 14th over with three fours against Brad Evans.
Gill and Dhawan posted the second highest opening stand for India in a 10-wicket victory in ODI cricket.
We might see KL Rahul bat up the order in the remaining games: Danish Kaneria
The one thing that needs applause is KL Rahul paving the way for Shubman Gill to bat in the opening slot was surprising. Kaneria said the Indian stand-in skipper will bat at No.3 to get into the groove ahead of the Asia Cup 2022.
Rahul has missed international cricket for the past six months because of his injury woes. He went to Germany in July for sports hernia, while skipping the complete England tour.
“We might see KL Rahul bat higher up the order in the remaining games and he could play at the No.3 spot. With that, we’ll learn more about the how he is timing the ball and how is form is going into the Asia Cup,” Kaneria said on his YouTube channel.
India will play the second ODI against Zimbabwe on Saturday (August 20) at the Harare Sports Club.