Shorty after IPL league, Team India will head out for Zimbabwe to play the tournament commencing from June 11. The tour will comprise of three T20 and three ODI matches with the home team. The country will host tour that will expand over 12 days ending on June 20 with the last T20 match. The matches will be hosted at the Harare Sports Club. The India Team will largely comprise of new players who would be induced to international level cricket through the tournament. The team will be led by MS Dhoni, who will be the only experienced player in the squad. This Zimbabwe tour will be the fourth visit of Team India to the Caribbean Nation in the last six years. The last tour was in July 2015 where India won the ODI series and the T20 was a tie.
Sanjay Bangar is appointed as the team’s head coach for the entire tour. Bangar is the former India and Railways all-rounder. The veteran cricketer has been working as the assistant coach for team India until the last tour of Australia. Along with Bangar, Abhay Sharma will be the fielding coach for the team. He has been with India Under-19 team and the A team. The coach also has the experience of working with the Rest of India team that defeated Mumbai in 2016 Irani Cup tournament. Furthermore, Koka Ramesh will act as the team manager for the tour. He was the former zonal secretary of the Andhra Cricket Association.
Bangar has been the team’s batting coach since long. Team India has been with B Arun as the bowling coach and R Sridhar overseeing the fielding. They were appointed in 2014, when India toured to England. The contract was for three years and it ended with the World T20 tournament. The coaching team for Zimbabwe tour is put up as an interim group by BCCI. Meanwhile, the board set a deadline for candidate till June 10 for applications of the role of full-time coach. It is reported that the process will complete by July before Team India will head out for West Indies tour.
For Zimbabwe tour team India will not be accompanied by a bowling coach. As the tour is “very short,” according to new BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke, the team would not be hampered by the absence of a bowling coach. The board has made appointment of coaches for the Team an open and transparent model as new Chief Anurag Thakur mentioned that everyone who feels eligible for the post could apply and the appointment will be solely based on experience and merit.