India will tour Zimbabwe for a three-match ODI series next month. While the dates are yet to be officially announced, Cricbuzz has learnt that three games, part of the ICC One-Day Super League, have been tentatively scheduled for August 18, 20 and 22 respectively.
The matches are of immense significance for the home team as the points from the series will count towards the qualification for next year’s ODI World Cup. They are, however, not as important for India, the hosts for the event, as Rohit Sharma’s side had directly qualified for the pinnacle event next October.
The six ODIs India are slated to play back-to-back this month, against England and the West Indies, are not part of the Super League.
“It’s a big opportunity for the players to play against the Indian players and for the cricketing fraternity in Zimbabwe. It will create a lot of interest amongst the younger generation to take up this game. Overall, the series is very good for Zimbabwe cricket,” said Lalchand Rajput, the former coach of the side, who has now been re-designated as the Technical Director. Dave Houghton is the head coach of the Craig Ervin-led side.
The tour to the African nation is the first for India in six years. The last time India was there was when MS Dhoni-led side had played three ODIs and as many T20Is in June-July 2016. There are no 20-over games this time around since in under a week from the third and final ODI, the Asia Cup is scheduled to begin in Sri Lanka, on August 27. Given the quick turnaround time between the two series, India may again field two different sides simultaneously.