Euro 2020 Special

Why Is the Return Of KL Rahul Against Zimbabwe Significant?

KL Rahul, Team India’s vice-captain, was sidelined by an injury at the end of the 2022 Indian T20 League, for which he missed South Africa’s tour of India, where he was supposed to lead the Men in Blue. His return got delayed further when he was expected to play against England.

However, the 30-year-old is set to make his much-anticipated return to cricket, against Zimbabwe. His inclusion in the squad was abrupt, with the BCCI issuing a statement that Rahul will play as the captain and Shikhar Dhawan will be made vice-captain, who was chosen as the initial skipper in this upcoming series. So why did KL suddenly decide to return against Zimbabwe? What could be the reason for him to return to cricket against the Chevrons?


A return long overdue

KL Rahul has not played cricket since the end of May, after picking up a groin injury. While on his road to recovery, Rahul later contracted the COVID-19 virus, which delayed his return further. Moreover, while recovering from COVID, his hamstring injury returned to haunt him, which delayed his return indefinitely. The Indian vice-captain released a statement on his social media handles addressing his misfortune to the world.

KL was written off for the upcoming Zimbabwe tour as well as the 2022 Asia Cup. However, after over two months, the 30-year-old made a full recovery and is now cleared to return to cricket. He will lead the Men in Blue from the front against Zimbabwe and hopefully play in the Asia Cup as well.


Best suited to lead a young Indian side

KL Rahul has a relatively young squad to lead against the Chevrons. These players are talented and have their fair share of experience at an international level. With players like Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya rested for the upcoming series, KL serves as the prime candidate to lead a squad with an average age of 27.31 years.

Perhaps leading a rather young batch of players with relatively less exposure at an international level will serve as a testament to KL’s leadership qualities. It will also give us a chance to witness Rahul as captain of Team India once again and see how he fares.


Crucial warm-up for the Asia Cup

India will play the 2022 Asia Cup, following their Tour of Zimbabwe. The only plausible explanation for KL’s sudden inclusion in the Zimbabwe series is that the BCCI is testing his fitness levels ahead of the Asia Cup. With Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel and Deepak Chahar on stand-by, Rahul might lose his spot if he can’t endure this upcoming three-match series.

Perhaps, KL has a mammoth task ahead of him in this series. If he manages to stay fit after the Zimbabwe tour, his spot in the Asia Cup squad will be secured. No time for the young KL to celebrate his return just yet, it seems.


KL Rahul’s miraculous debut was against Zimbabwe

Perhaps it is a coincidence that KL Rahul will make a comeback against Zimbabwe since he made his ODI debut against them back in 2016. His debut was a memorable one as he scored his maiden century that day, making him the first-ever Indian to do so. KL will probably look to regain his top-notch form against the team he scored his first ODI century against. It will surely be poetic to see Rahul play at his finest in this upcoming ODI series, and even more so if he scores another ton on his return.

Also Read: The Asia Cup 2022: Who are the main contenders?





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