If it feels ironic that Ajinkya Rahane who was initially dropped from the Zimbabwe tour team is reinstated as its ODI captain, it probably is! With all the talk surrounding Kohli becoming the next ODI captain, Rahane’s appointment came as a shock.
Rahane himself was caught off-guard by the decision, “The decision of naming me captain did come as a surprise because I wasn’t thinking about captaincy ever. I didn’t know how to react when I heard the news. Once the news slowly began to sink in, I became really confident of handling this new responsibility.”
There has been a few changes in the ODI rules as Rahane prepares to take on the mantle of India’s ODI captain for Zimbabwe tour. The the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Board has already approved four changes to ODI playing conditions which will take effect from July 5:
- no batting powerplay of 5 overs
- 3 fielders will be allowed outside the 30-yard circle between 41 and 50 overs
- no compulsory catchers in 1 to 10 overs
- free hit for all no balls
India will play 3 ODIs and 2 T20Is in Zimbabwe under the new rules and with Rahane at the helm. The opening game is on July 10. Commenting on the change, he said, “With the new ODI rules in place, it will be a new challenge and we will get used to it once we start implementing it in the Zimbabwe tour. You also need to change the strategies accordingly. We will get an idea of it after the first ODI and understand how challenging it will be for the batsmen and the bowlers.”
Currently Rahane’s score averages just over 30 in one-day internationals. In the recent 3-match series against Bangladesh at Mirpur, in the first match, he scored nine off 25 balls. He was however dropped from the next two matches. This time, in the upcoming Zimbabwe tour, it is Dhoni and a few senior cricketers who are getting a rest while Rahane prepares to lead a youthful Indian team while imbibing qualities from Dhoni, Kohli and Dravid.