Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan said he is always available to guide the youngsters in the team and talked about KL Rahul’s return to the Indian team. India will kick off the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe on Thursday in Harare.
This will be the first time for the Indian side in seven years to play in the African nation since a young team fielded under MS Dhoni took the stage in 2016. Dhawan was supposed to lead the second-string side in the absence of regular skipper Rohit Sharma and other key players of the white-ball squad.
However, the BCCI named KL Rahul as the captain of the side after he was deemed fit to play while recovering from his long-time injury.
I enjoy sharing my experience with the youngsters in the team: Shikhar Dhawan
Despite the fact that Dhawan has been relegated to the vice-captain’s role, the senior Indian player won’t shy away from the responsibility of mentoring young players in the team. The left-handed batter has amassed 209 runs in four innings at an average of 52.25 in Zimbabwe.
“I quite enjoy sharing my experience with the youngsters in the team. I first came here in 2014 (actually 2013), when Duncan Fletcher was the Indian coach. If they (youngsters) reach out to me for any suggestions, I am (always) there to answer them,” Dhawan told reporters at a media conference.
“It is very good news that KL (Rahul) is back and will be leading the side as well. He is one of the main players of this Indian team. It will be a good outing for him before the Asia Cup gets underway. I am sure he will gain a lot from this tour,” Dhawan added.
Washington Sundar will be missed as a spinner: Shikhar Dhawan
Indian all-rounder Washington Sundar, who was likely to start for India in the first ODI, was ruled out after sustaining a shoulder injury while playing for Lancashire in the Royal London One-Day Cup. Bengal spin-bowling all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed was named replacement for the Tami Nadu player.
“It’s sad that Washington is out. He is quite an important player for the side. But it’s part and parcel…injuries happen. Hope, he will recover soon. He will be missed as a spinner but we have got a good back-up through Kuldeep Yadav and Deepak Hooda, who also bowls off-spin,” Dhawan said.
The first ODI between Zimbabwe and India will start on Thursday (August 18) at the Harare Sports Club.