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Deepak Chahar returns for Zimbabwe ODIs, KL Rahul still unavailable

Rahul Tripathi called up, Washington Sundar and Kuldeep Yadav come back as India continue to rotate their players

Deepak Chahar last played for India in the T20I series at home against West Indies in February this year  •  Associated Press

Deepak Chahar last played for India in the T20I series at home against West Indies in February this year  •  Associated Press

Deepak Chahar has made a comeback to the Indian team after nearly six months, during which he was being treated for a back injury, for the ODI series in Zimbabwe in August. Rahul Tripathi has received a maiden ODI call-up, while Washington Sundar and Kuldeep Yadav have been included in the squad of 15 for the three-match series in Harare.
KL Rahul has not yet recovered sufficiently, after first undergoing a successful surgery for a sports hernia, and then suffering from a bout of Covid-19. Rahul took to his social media to say that his post-surgery recovery had put him on course for the white-ball games against West Indies, but the Covid infection has pushed his progress to full fitness back by a couple of weeks.
Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Arshdeep Singh and Yuzvendra Chahal, who were all part of the ODIs in the West Indies, have been left out. While there has been no official word on the selections, or non-selections, it is understood that the premier players are being rotated as part of the BCCI's policy keeping in mind the packed international calendar. India are currently playing a white-ball series in the West Indies, and the Asia Cup will start on August 27 in the UAE, just five days after the last ODI in Zimbabwe.
Chahar last played at any representative level in the T20I series at home against West Indies back in February. He picked up the back injury while undergoing rehab at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, where he was recovering from the quadricep tear he was diagnosed with during the West Indies games. He subsequently sat out the IPL, where he was Chennai Super Kings' biggest buy in the 2022 auction, as well as all the international cricket India have played since.
Kuldeep recently received the green signal from the NCA medical team after recovering from a hairline fracture in his right wrist, which had forced him out of the South Africa T20Is at home as well as the white-ball tours of Ireland and England. He is in the squad that is currently playing in the T20I series in the West Indies. Kuldeep last played in the IPL for Delhi Capitals, where he picked up 21 wickets in 14 matches.
Washington, who last played for India in the ODIs against West Indies, had recovered from a hand injury last month and, more recently, has been in action for Lancashire in the County Championship. He picked up a five-for in the first innings against Northamptonshire in his first county game, and followed it up with a match-winning knock of 34*. He has played one more match, against Kent, and took 3 for 24 in the second innings.
Tripathi had received his maiden India call-up in June for the T20Is against Ireland, but did not make the playing XI. While he has made a name for himself with his exploits in T20s, specifically in the IPL, Tripathi has a fairly good record in the 50-over format as well: in 43 List A games, he has 1209 runs at an average of 31.00. In the 2021 Vijay Hazare Trophy, he made 199 runs in five games at 49.75.
Shikhar Dhawan, who led India in the West Indies ODIs, will continue as captain for this series as well, with regular captain Rohit Sharma continuing to sit out. The likes of Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant and Mohammed Shami have also been rested.

Sruthi Ravindranath is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo