KL Rahul is determined to add to the "great memories" of facing Zimbabwe when he returns as captain in a three-match ODI series.

Rahul has not played for almost three months after undergoing a hernia operation and suffering with COVID-19.

The batter has been passed fit to lead India at Harare Sports Club, where the opening match of the series will be staged on Thursday, with VVS Laxman stepping in as India head coach while Rahul Dravid takes a break.

Rahul scored an unbeaten century on his ODI debut at the same venue six years ago and is eager to make up for lost time.

He told reporters on Wednesday: "My ODI and T20I debut was in Harare. I got a 100 in my first game, so I have great memories here.

"Hopefully I can add on to those memories. Coming back here after so many years and getting the opportunity to lead your country, obviously when you look back, it's very pleasing.

"As a person you can see how much you've grown and how far you've come as a player. It gives me great joy. Hopefully I can add to those good memories and play some good cricket over the next week."

India suffered a 3-0 series defeat to South Africa in Rahul's only previous series as skipper, but the tourists will be expected to dish out a whitewash of their own in Harare.

Shikhar Dhawan captained India to a 3-0 clean sweep of West Indies in the 50-over format last month and the opener will be vice-captain as they look for a fourth consecutive series triumph.

Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant are among the players who have been rested ahead of the Asia Cup. Shahbaz Ahmed will be hoping to make his debut after the all-rounder replaced the injured Washington Sundar.

Zimbabwe ended a three-year wait for an ODI series win by beating Bangladesh 2-1, but this will be a much bigger challenge. 

Regis Chakabva will skipper the hosts in the absence of Craig Ervine, who is out with a torn hamstring.

 

Chahar must make his mark

Deepak Chahar will make his long-awaited return after a six-month absence due to quad and back injuries.

With so much competition for places, the seamer will know he must take his chance. The 30-year-old was not included in India's Asia Cup squad, but he is on standby.

Raza key to Zimbabwe's hopes

Sikandar Raza was named player of the series in Zimbabwe's triumph over the Tigers this month.

The all-rounder scored two centuries, as well as taking five wickets, and Zimbabwe will look to him to contribute again with both bat and ball.

KL Rahul has been named as India's captain for their three-match ODI tour of Zimbabwe this month, having been omitted from the initial 15-man squad.

Rahul was supposed to feature in India's tour of West Indies last month after recovering from a hernia operation, but missed out after testing positive for COVID-19.

The 30-year-old will now return to lead his country for the second time in the 50-over format after receiving medical clearance to play, with Shikhar Dhawan vice-captain.

India fell to a 3-0 series defeat in South Africa when Rahul last captained the team this year, and the batter has not played any competitive cricket since the conclusion of the 2022 Indian Premier League season.

Rahul hit an ODI century on his debut against Zimbabwe back in 2016, the first of five hundreds in the format.

The three-match series gets under way at Harare Sports Club on August 18.

India squad: KL Rahul (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohammed Siraj, Deepak Chahar.

Former West Indies bowler Winston Benjamin has reached out to Indian great Sachin Tendulkar to help fix grassroots cricket in the Caribbean through the donation of equipment.

In a video on YouTube shared by veteran sports journalist Vimal Kumar on his channel, Benjamin says he has contacted well-known cricket figures in India to help the issue.

Benjamin, who represented the West indies in 21 tests and 81 ODIs between 1986 and 1995, says doesn’t need financial donations; he is happy to receive something as simple as cricket bats or other equipment that he can help distribute to aspiring players in the area.

“Previously, we used to have a tournament in Sharjah where it used to be like a benefit game for players from different countries. I don’t want benefits. All I want is for somebody to say ‘here is some equipment’ – 10-15 bats, that is good enough for me. I don’t want 20000 US dollars. I just want some equipment so that I can give back to youngsters. That’s all I am asking.”

Benjamin also asked Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar while thanking former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin.

“Mr. Tendulkar if you are in a position, could you assist me? Hit me up,” he said.

“I would like to thank my good friend Mohammad Azharuddin. He sent me some equipment over. Azhar, congratulations! And thank you so much for that assistance. Stay in touch. Anyone else who wants to contribute, feel free,” Benjamin added.

 

Ravi Bishnoi claimed career-best Twenty20 International figures as India thrashed West Indies by 88 runs in Fort Lauderhill to win the series 4-1.

Shreyas Iyer top scored with 64 off 40 balls and Deepak Hooda made 38 as India posted 188-7 in the final match of the series in Florida on Sunday, 

The Windies were skittled out for 100 in reply, with all 10 wickets falling to spinners for the first time in a T20I.

Bishnoi took 4-16, while Axar Patel (3-15) and Kuldeep Yadav (3-12) also capitalised on West Indies' batting frailties as Shimron Hetmyer (56) scored over half of their runs.

India were not fazed by losing Ishan Kishan early on, Iyer and Hooda putting on 76 for the second wicket to put them on course to an imposing total.

Iyer finally fell to Jason Holder after Hayden Walsh saw the back of Hooda, but captain Hardik Pandya made a brisk 28 before he was run out by Odean Smith.

Smith (3-33) claimed his third scalp by sending Axar (9) packing in the final over, but the Windies were soon in big trouble in the run chase.

Axar bowled Holder for a duck with the third ball of the innings before getting Shamarh Brooks (13) stumped and the tweaker also cleaned up Devon Thomas (10) in the fifth over.

Kuldeep stepped up to remove West Indies skipper Nicholas Pooran, reducing the Windies to 50-4, before Bishnoi trapped Rovman Powell (9) and Keemo Paul (0) lbw with successive balls.

Hetmyer was running out of partners as the procession of wickets continued, with the left-hander falling to Bishnoi, who then finished off the job by getting Obed McCoy caught in the deep.

India put Windies in a spin

Bishnoi was outstanding as the Windies failed a trial by spin, with Axar and Kuldeep also tormenting Pooran's side.

The excellent Bishnoi took four wickets for the first time in the shortest format at international level, ending the series on a high note.

Iyer shows his class

With such competition for places in a T20 World Cup year, Iyer gave another exhibition of his class.

He struck two sixes and another eight boundaries, setting India on their way to a total that was far too many for the Windies.

The West Indies suffered a crushing 59-run defeat to India in Lauderhill on Saturday, falling to an unassailable 1-3 series deficit in the process.

After winning the toss and electing to field first, the hosts felt the wrath of the Indians from the outset with openers Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav speeding to 53 without loss after just 4.4 overs before Sharma was dismissed for a 16-ball 33 including two fours and three sixes.

Yadav’s dismissal for 24 in the sixth over then paired Deepak Hooda and Rishabh Pant who added a further 47 before Hooda’s wicket fell for 21 in the 12th over to leave the score on 108-3.

Pant went on to top-score with 44 before his dismissal in the 15th over. Sanju Samson (30 not out), Axar Patel (20 not out) and Dinesh Karthik (6) then combined to put the finishing touches on a fine effort with the bat for India, ending 191-5 from their 20 overs.

Alzarri Joseph was the pick of the bowlers for the Windies with 2-29 from his four overs.

The hosts then struggled throughout their reply thanks to some excellent bowling by India and some questionable decision-making by the batsmen.

Brandon King (13) and Kyle Mayers (14) both got starts but fell cheaply while captain Nicholas Pooran sprinted to 24 off just eight balls before he was run out after a mix-up with Mayers.

Rovman Powell with a quick 24, Shimron Hetmyer (19) and Jason Holder (13) were the only other batsmen to reach double-figures as the Windies struggled to a paltry 132 all-out after 19.1 overs.

Arshdeep Singh led the way for the Indians with 3-12 from 3.1 overs while he got good support from Avesh Khan (2-17) and Ravi Bishnoi (2-27).

A shot-filled half-century from Kyle Mayers was not enough to prevent a 7-wicket loss for the West Indies as India, pushed on by an equally forceful reply from Suryakumar Yadav, won the third T20 international with an over to spare.

After losing the toss and being put in to bat, Mayers and Brandon King got the team off to a solid start, in the power play, after a 57 partnership for the first wicket.  Although by taking 20 deliveries to make his 20, King somewhat slowed down the scoring rate.   

 Hardik Pandya got the breakthrough for India when King, deceived by a slower ball, dragged onto the stumps.  Mayers then joined forces with captain Nicholas Pooran for another 50 partnership pushing the team to 107.  Pooran was then undone by a delivery from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, which he miscued before being gobbled up by Pant.  The Windies captain used 23 balls for his 22 runs.

The same pair, Kumar, and Pant, combined to finally account for Mayers, as well, as he top-edged to Pant from a slower ball.  Rovman Powell and Shimron Hetmyer made brief cameos of 23 and 20, and briefly accelerated the scoring but were kept in check by India’s bowling line-up.

In pursuit, India got off to a flyer despite Rohit Sharma retiring hurt in the second over and Shreyas Iyer struggling after coming in next at the crease.  The innings was fueled by Yadav’s aggression with his 76 runs off 44 balls putting the match out of reach for the West Indies. India now leads the five-match series 2-1 after three games.

Obed McCoy and Brandon King played starring roles as the West Indies secured a five-wicket victory over India in the second of five T20 Internationals at Warner Park in St. Kitts on Monday.

After winning the toss and electing to field first, the hosts had a brilliant outing with the ball to restrict the Indians to 138 all out, their lowest first innings total in T20Is in the West Indies.

Hardik Pandya (31), Ravindra Jadeja (27) and Rishabh Pant (24) were the main contributors for the tourists as Obed McCoy ripped through the Indian line-up to finish with figures of 6-17 from four overs, the best by a West Indian in T20 internationals.

Jason Holder provided most support to McCoy with 2-23 from 3.4 overs.

In the Caribbean side’s turn at the crease, opener Brandon King made a crucial 68 to orchestrate a somewhat tricky yet successful chase in the end.

The Windies were cruising at one point, finding themselves 71-2 at the fall of captain Nicholas Pooran’s wicket in the 10th over.

Things got tricky at that point thanks to some tight bowling from the Indians that saw the wickets of King, Shimron Hetmyer (6) and Rovman Powell (5) all fall within overs 13 and 19 to eventually leave the West Indies needing 17 off 10 balls with Devon Thomas and Odean Smith at the crease.

At the start of the final over, the hosts needed 10 runs for victory and things got much easier when Avesh Khan started the over with a no-ball.

Thomas then proceeded to hit the resulting free-hit for six to leave the Windies needing just two from five. He then hit a boundary off the next ball to finish 31 not out off 19 balls and complete the five-wicket victory for the hosts to tie the series 1-1.

 

Matthew Mott and Jos Buttler have agreed England's Twenty20 International series defeat to South Africa was "a line in the sand moment".

Mott was recently appointed England's new limited-overs head coach, with Buttler newly installed as white-ball skipper.

But the pair have not enjoyed the sort of strong start seen in the Test arena under Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes.

England lost ODI and T20I series' to India, both 2-1, before facing South Africa.

A three-match ODI series was drawn, but Buttler's men then let slip a 1-0 lead in the T20Is to lose again.

England looked to be on the right path with their opening 41-run win, only for subsequent reverses by 58 and 90 runs to prompt serious concern.

Following that latest dismal defeat, Mott was not shying away from the need for vast improvement.

"I've just spoken to Jos very briefly, and this is a line in the sand moment for the team," the coach told Sky Sports.

He added: "We were down on confidence with bat and ball. It was disappointing.

"I thought we put ourselves in a good position to win the series, and we'll have take a lot out of that game."

This sequence of underwhelming results comes ahead of a T20 World Cup at the end of the year, too.

"It's been a bit of a struggle," Mott told BBC Sport. "We've had ups and downs throughout the summer.

"We've played two great teams and come out second both times, so we're disappointed."

West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran believes the team must be better at managing the game’s big moments following a 68-run loss to India in the first of five T20 internationals on Friday.

Despite switching formats, the Caribbean team failed to snap its losing streak against India after skipper Rohit Sharma's quickfire 64, from 44 deliveries, laid the platform for India to post a challenging 190.  The team was also boosted by an unbeaten 41 off just 19 balls from Dinesh Karthik.

In pursuit of the target, the Windies failed to put any significant partnerships together and the highest individual total of 20 came from Shamarh Brooks.

Their struggles were in large part due to the efforts of India’s spin trio of Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Ravi Bishnoi who combined to stifle the Windies at the crease.   In total, the trio picked up five wickets.

“We are going to have games like this where we are going to just get shut out. The batsmen did get starts but we didn’t capitalize on those starts.  We didn’t win the big moments today and it’s as simple as that,” Pooran said following the game.

The team also made changes to its typical batting order, with all-rounder Jason Holder promoted to three.  He was, however, dismissed without scoring by Ravindra Jadeja.

“It was good for us to come out here and experiment a bit.  The guys did show up but we need to hold our nerve in big moments, especially when the pressure is on, we need to embrace it,” he added.

 

The West Indies have now lost seven consecutive white ball games after going down by 68 runs to India in the first of five T20 Internationals at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba on Friday.

West Indian captain Nicholas Pooran won the toss and elected to field first.

India’s opening pair of returning captain Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav got the ball rolling, putting on a partnership of 44 before Yadav was dismissed by Jason Holder for a quick 16-ball 24.

Captain Sharma provided a steady head for the Indians throughout the majority of the innings as he lost partners Shreyas Iyer (0), Rishabh Pant (14) and Hardik Pandya (1) before eventually being dismissed in the 15th over for a top score of 64 to leave the tourists 127-5.

They eventually got up to 190-6 off their 20 overs thanks to cameos from Ravindra Jadeja (16) and Ravichandran Ashwin (13) as well as a brilliant closing effort of 41 from just 19 balls including four fours and two sixes from Dinesh Karthik.

Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein was brilliant for the hosts with an economical 1-14 from his four overs while opening pacer Obed McCoy took 1-30 from his four.

The West Indian reply got off to a fast start thanks to openers Kyle Mayers and Shamarh Brooks as the pair sped to 22-0 in the second over before Mayers fell for 15 to pacer Arshdeep Singh.

The Windies then tried to gamble, sending Jason Holder up the order to bat at three but this move fell flat as he was next to go, bowled by Ravindra Jadeja for a duck.

The innings then ground to a virtual halt as Brooks (20), Nicholas Pooran (18), Rovman Powell (14), Shimron Hetmyer (14), Akeal Hosein (11) and Odean Smith (0) all perished to, eventually, leave the Windies needing 90 off 21 balls for victory.

Keemo Paul and Alzarri Joseph then finished not out on 19 and 5, respectively, to end the innings on 122-8, 68 runs short.

It was a balanced bowling effort by the Indians with Ravichandran Ashwin (2-22 off four overs), Arshdeep Singh (2-24 off four overs) and Ravi Bishnoi (2-26 off four overs) all contributing well.

West Indies coach Phil Simmons has backed the One Day International (ODI) team to eventually pull things together after a number of discouraging recent results.

The ODI format has been the team’s least productive over the last few years, having won just 9 of 51 series played in the last 10 years, which amounts to a 17 percent win rate.  In the last three consecutive series, the regional team has failed to win a game after being swept aside 3-0 by Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India.

In three of the last four matches against Bangladesh and then India, however, the team at least managed to put in strong batting performances despite losing the match.

“The first two games we batted the 50 overs and looked like we understood what batting 50 overs was about.  I think that’s a step forward and we will just have to keep trying to move forward with that,” Simmons told members of the media on Wednesday.

“The bowlers have been doing it in a few games and not the batsmen.  Now it’s turned around.  So, we’ve got to get everything together.  The one plus is that the fielding keeps getting better and better, so we have to put everything together,” he added.

“Everything takes time, the guys have been playing together more and more and we are having a squad play together more and more.  That’s what happened with the Test team, the guys played together for a while and now we are seeing the fruits of that.  Let’s see what happens with the ODI team.”

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) Men’s Senior Selection Panel on Thursday named 16 players for the upcoming Goldmedal T20I Cup, powered by Kent Water Purifiers against India and for the three-match T20 International (T20I) Series against New Zealand.

The West Indies and India Men’s teams will go head-to-head in the five-match series starting Friday, July 29, with the first-ever West Indies Senior Men’s team match to be played at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy. The five-match series runs until August 7 with games being played in Trinidad, St Kitts and Florida.

The same pool of 16 players will then travel to Jamaica for the three-match T20I Series against New Zealand at Sabina Park from August 10-14.

An official squad of 13 players will be nominated ahead of each match.

The Selection Panel recalled left-handed batter Shimron Hetmyer. Left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell is recovering from injury and unavailable for selection, while allrounder Fabian Allen is also unavailable for personal reasons.

“We welcome back Hetmyer and it is good to see him again in West Indies colours. He will fortify the batting group and with his experience and adaptability we have a ‘finisher’ who can add value and win matches for the team and delight the supporters,” said lead selector, The Most Hon Dr Desmond Haynes.

“Everything we do, we have to take into consideration we have a big tournament coming up later this year, which is the ICC T20 World Cup, so we are planning and gearing up towards that event. It is good to give the players some exposure to the international stage and look to find the right combinations,” Haynes added.

FULL SQUAD

Nicholas Pooran (Captain)

Rovman Powell (Vice Captain)

Shamarh Brooks

Dominic Drakes

Shimron Hetmyer

Jason Holder

Akeal Hosein

Alzarri Joseph

Brandon King

Kyle Mayers

Obed McCoy

Keemo Paul

Romario Shepherd

Odean Smith

Devon Thomas

Hayden Walsh Jr.

 

Rohit Sharma returns to lead India when a five-match Twenty20 International series against West Indies starts on Friday.

India's captain was rested for the 3-0 one-day international whitewash of the Windies, but will be back in action at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy,

Shikhar Dhawan skippered the tourists as his fellow opener was given a rest for the 50-over contests.

Rohit will expect India to maintain their momentum when the series gets under way in Tarouba, Trinidad, with the T20 World Cup in Australia on the horizon.

India have won five and drawn one of their past six series in the shortest format, beating England most recently.

They are top of the rankings and have shown their strength in depth amid a hectic schedule.

Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal have been rested for this series along with out-of-sorts former captain Virat Kohli, but the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav are back.

West Indies beat Bangladesh 2-0 in their last T20I series, but India consigned them to a 3-0 clean sweep in February.

Nicholas Pooran has endured a difficult start to his tenure as Windies white-ball skipper and his side face another big challenge in a series that includes two matches in Florida.

Yadav primed for more heroics

Suryakumar Yadav made a match-winning 117 when India beat England in the T20I decider at Trent Bridge.

With fierce competition in the middle order and Kohli absent, Yadav will see this series as another opportunity to cement his spot.

Windies batters must show consistency

Despite being beaten by India in all three ODIs, West Indies twice posted over 300.

They must show a consistency that has been lacking as they build towards the World Cup, led by Pooran, who has certainly not been short of runs as skipper and was man of the series in the T20I series success over the Tigers.

West Indies batsman Shai Hope says his success in the One-Day International format is down to his desire to spend time at the crease.

Hope celebrated his 100th ODI on Sunday at the Queen’s Park Oval with a brilliant 115 in a losing effort against India, his 13th century in the format to go along with 20 fifties.

The Barbadian, who now has 4193 ODI runs at an excellent average of 49.91, became the fourth West Indian and 10th player to ever score a century in their 100th ODI. Ramnaresh Sarwan, Gordon Greenidge and Chris Gayle are the other West Indians to achieve this feat while New Zealand’s Chris Cairns, Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf, Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara, England’s Marcus Trescothick, Australia’s David Warner and India’s Shikhar Dhawan make up the rest of that exclusive club.

“I would just say my desire to bat as long as I can,” was Hope’s response in a post-match press conference when asked what he attributes his performances to.

“I love batting and I always want to stay at the crease and do whatever I can for the team’s benefit. Just the desire and hunger to stay out there in the middle,” he added.

Current opponents India have become somewhat of a favorite opponent for Hope as the numbers would suggest. He now has 855 runs at an average of 47.50 with three hundreds and four fifties in 22 matches against the 2011 World Cup winners.

“They’re a very good opposition. I think playing against the best in the world usually brings out the best in myself. It’s something I’ve always looked forward to growing up and playing regional cricket so, it’s just one of those challenges that I try to grasp with both hands and, hopefully, I can continue that trend,” Hope said.

So, how does Hope plan to keep up this level of performance?

“The key is to try to keep learning. You never know it all so it’s just about trying to learn and develop as best as I can. It’s all about adding to your game,” he said.

Hope’s next chance to add to his tally of runs will come when the West Indies play for pride in the third ODI against India on Wednesday in Port-of-Spain.

 

 

 

 

Shai Hope scored a magnificent century but it was not enough to prevent the West Indies from going 2-0 down after a thrilling two-wicket victory with two balls to spare at the Queens Park Oval in Trinidad on Sunday.

The win means the home side’s seven-match losing streak continues as they ceded the three-match series to India with one match remaining.

India started slowly but eventually got the measure of the West Indies attack with half-centuries from Shreyas Ayer (63) and Sanju Samson (54) but it was Axar Patel whose quick-fire 64 from 35 balls that powered India over the line with a straight six from the fourth ball of the final over bowled by Kyle Mayers.

Mayers finished with 2-48 from 7.4 overs. Alzarri Joseph bowled well for his 2-46 from 10. Jayden Seales proved economical taking 1-40 from his allotment.

Earlier, after the West Indies had won the toss and chose to bat first, Hope scored 115 as the West Indies posted 311-6 from their 50 overs.

After sharing in an opening stand of 65 with Kyle Mayers who made 39, Hope also featured in a second-wicket partnership of 62 with Shamarh Brooks who contributed 32 before he too was dismissed after getting a start.

Brandon King made nought from five balls before Hope and Captain Nicolas Pooran shared in a 127-run partnership for the fourth wicket that got the West Indies back on track for another score over 300. Pooran was eventually dismissed for 74 with the West Indies positioned at 280-5 in the 44th over.

Hope finally fell in the 49th over, caught in the deep trying to hit over the long-off boundary as the West Indies' rate of scoring dipped. The home side managed 31 off the next six overs while also losing the wickets of Rovman Powell for 13 and Romario Shepherd for 14, something that West Indies would come to regret.

Shardul Thakur was the pick of the Indian bowlers with 3-54 from his seven overs but India’s ability to restrict the West Indies' scoring in the death overs was largely due to the excellent bowling of Mohammad Siraj, who ended wicket-less but who the West Indies batters found difficult to get away in the final three overs.

 

 

 

 

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