'I have great memories here' - KL Rahul looking forward to play in Zimbabwe again

KL Rahul last played competitive cricket in May earlier this year.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul. (Photo by Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)

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India will take on Zimbabwe in the first ODI of the three-match series at Harare on Thursday, 18th August. KL Rahul returns to the squad after a hiatus of almost three months. He will be leading the side in the country where he began his white-ball career six years ago, registering a majestic century on his ODI debut.

KL Rahul has finally recovered from his sports hernia injury and Covid-19 complications to make it to the Indian team and will lead the team for only the second series in his career. The stylish opener was designated to lead the subcontinent side earlier this year against South Africa in a five-match T20I series but unfortunately had to pull out of the series due to a groin injury days before the commencement of the series.

The elegant batter was on the verge of making his return after completing his rehab at the NCA in Bangalore following a sports hernia surgery, but catastrophe struck again as he tested positive for Covid-19, throwing a spanner in his plans of featuring for the Indian team in the Windies tour. But the Indian star is looking forward to leading the side in the series in a country where he has fond memories and is planning to add to those memories.

“My ODI and T20I debut was in Harare, I got a 100 in my first game, so I have great memories here. Hopefully 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,” Rahul was quoted by ESPNcricinfo.

“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 can add to those good memories and play some good cricket over the next week.”

‘There will be no pressure on the players to be different’, Rahul wants his players to be themselves

Although Rahul is quite inexperienced as a skipper in the international arena, he has been leading IPL franchises for a while now and feels that a captain needs to be true to himself rather than forcing to be another entity. He reckoned that the players would be under no pressure to perform differently and hoped that they stick to their true nature and express themselves accordingly.

“I’m still young, this is just my second series as captain. But my personality is such that I feel only when a captain is true to himself, it spreads to the other players. I am a calm person, so I can’t go out there and try to be someone else. I try to be myself and let the other players be themselves and express themselves as they want to. There will be no pressure on the players to be different,” he added.