India will go back into international cricket again with a tour of Zimbabwe, in which they will play three ODIs and three T20Is under the leadership of MS Dhoni. The 34-year-old captain will be leading a second-string side on this tour.
It will be a new challenge, as Dhoni will not have his familiar weapons to use during this tour of Zimbabwe. There are a number of players in this side with whom he has not played much cricket with, and therefore it will be interesting to see how Dhoni handles the youngsters.
There is no doubt that the India captain is one of the best in business, but to get the batting order in place in this tour will be a tough task for Dhoni.
A rookie side can be put in a tough situation by the African team in this upcoming series.
KL Rahul has got his first limited-overs series call up after his impressive show in the IPL for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal too will be keen to put up a good show in this series under Dhoni. This is indeed a wonderful opportunity for these players, and they should make it count.
Dhawal Kulkarni and Jasprit Bumrah will be spearheading the pace department. They will be assisted by Barinder Sran, who had a decent IPL 2016 with the champions Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Axar Patel, who was a part of India's previous tour of Zimbabwe, will take care of the spin department along with Chahal.
Last time India toured Zimbabwe, Ajinkya Rahane led India to a 3-0 ODI series victory over the hosts. Dhoni will look to achieve the same feat as he is all set to play against Zimbabwe at their home after 11 years.
Dhoni has already assured Team India fans that he is not taking Zimbabwe lightly and he will look to yield positive results with this young Indian side.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe will have a new captain in the form of Graeme Cremer. Former South Africa seamer Makhaya Ntini has also been appointed as the interim coach.
Cremer took over the duties of the captain from Hamilton Masakadza, who had an awful time with his side during the ICC World T20 2016 in India, earlier this year.
Tinashe Panyangara is the only notable exclusion from the Zimbabwe squad for the upcoming series against India. The seamer picked up a back injury during a training session in Bulawayo, just ahead of their series against India.
However, Zimbabwe have named two different squads for the ODI and T20 series. Few players are present in both sides, but there are a few new names in the squad as well.
On the other hand, Dhoni will get to choose his playing XI from the same squad in both ODIs and the T20s.
India squad for ODI and T20 series: MS Dhoni (C & wk), KL Rahul, Faiz Fazal, Manish Pandey, Karun Nair, Ambati Rayudu, Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Rishi Dhawan, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jasprit Bumrah, Barinder Sran, Jaydev Unadkat.
Zimbabwe squad for ODI series: Graeme Cremer (C), Richmond Mutumbami, Taurai Muzarabani, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Peter Joseph Moor, Elton Chigumbura, Vusimuzi Sibanda, Tawanda Mupariwa, Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza Butt, Neville Madziva, Donald Tiripano, Timycen Maruma, Wellington Maskadza, Tendai Chisoro, Hamilton Masakadza, Tendai Chatara, Craig Ervine.
Zimbabwe squad for T20 series: Graeme Cremer (C), Richmond Mutumbami, Taurai Muzarabani, Brian Chari, Peter Joseph Moor, Elton Chigumbura, Vusimuzi Sibanda, Luke Jongwe, Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza Butt, Neville Madziva, Donald Tiripano, Timycen Maruma, Wellington Maskadza, Tendai Chisoro, Hamilton Masakadza, Tendai Chatara, Malcolm Waller.