On Saturday, BCCI announced the Indian men’s squad for the upcoming tour of Zimbabwe, where the Men in Blue will be playing a three-match ODI series.

Many first-choice players were missing from the 15-member unit, including regular skipper Rohit Sharma and global superstar Virat Kohli. Barring these notable absentees, another star, who was not named in the squad, was the opening batter, KL Rahul.

Notably, Rahul wasn’t part of the Indian outfit in the recently-concluded ODI series against West Indies and is also missing the ongoing T20I battle against the Men in Maroon.

Before speculations could rise further regarding Rahul’s absence from the India squad for the Zimbabwe tour, the Karnataka cricketer issued a lengthy statement regarding his health and fitness and revealed the real reason behind his non-appearance.

Rahul took to Twitter and clarified that testing positive for COVID-19 has pushed his return to the international arena back by a couple of weeks. The 30-year-old further mentioned that he aims to recover as quickly as possible to be fully fit and available for selection.

“Hey guys, I wanted to clarify a couple of things about my health and fitness. My surgery in June was successful and I had begun training with the hope of returning to national duty for the team’s tour of the West Indies. Unfortunately, as I was nearing a return to full fitness, I tested positive for COVID-19,” Rahul wrote in his statement on Twitter.

“This naturally pushes things back by a couple of weeks, but I aim to recover as quickly as possible and be available for selection as soon as I can. To represent the national team is the highest honour, and I cannot wait to get out there back in blue,” he added.

The tour of Zimbabwe will start on August 18 and in the absence of Rohit, senior opener Shikhar Dhawan has been appointed to lead the team. Not to mention, Dhawan had recently captained India in the ODI leg against West Indies, which the visitors clean swept 3-0.

India’s squad for ODI series against Zimbabwe: Shikhar Dhawan (Captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohd Siraj, Deepak Chahar.