When you return to activity after a prolonged absence, it’s not uncommon to feel something alien. Net work is not a replacement for gaming time. KL On Saturday, Rahul felt this strongly. His first game after the IPL didn’t go well since Rahul was out on the fifth pitch.

It’s crucial to spend as much time as possible during an inning during a comeback to regain the rhythm. Rahul seemed rusty in the few deliveries he played. There was no decisive foot movement. A common shot caused him to fall. He went too much inside to divert the ball to the leg side and fell. He got backed up in front after missing the line.

But as captain, Rahul is displaying a vicious edge. In the second ODI, which was played on Saturday in Harare, he expertly managed his bowling assault to dismiss the hosts for 161 runs in 38.1 overs. The tourists then overcame a mid-innings stumble to march to a five-wicket triumph and grab a commanding 2-0 series lead. The chase was led by Sanju Samson, who scored an unbeaten 43 off 39 balls (3 fours, 4 sixes).

The Zimbabwean total wouldn’t truly put India to the test. It was unclear whether the India skipper would even get to bat after the two openers, Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill, knocked down the score without losing in the first ODI. He thus emerged to open. Even yet, his early dismissal was irrelevant. Gill attacked from behind, and this time he and Dhawan switched places. While Dhawan went for his shots and set the tone for the innings with a 21-ball 33, Gill was more cautious.

At a run rate of 7.5, India reached 75 without loss in 10 overs and finished the chase in 25.4 overs. However, it was far from a flawless at-bat. The top-order of the visitors was very tense. At No. 4, Ishan Kishan carelessly wasted his wicket. He swung his bat at a wide ball while playing on the stumps. India would have been four down at the 80-run mark if the wicketkeeper had responded to the edge pulled off Gill by Brad Evans with a beautiful length ball outside off-stump.