30-year-old Vidarbha batsman Faiz Fazal is one of five uncapped players in India’s ODI and T20I squads for the tour of Zimbabwe in June. The selectors met on Sunday in Mumbai and chose the same 16-man squad for both ODIs and T20Is.
Fazal is the only player in the squad without a current IPL contract – he was part of Rajasthan Royals until 2011 – and is presently playing league cricket in England. His selection came as a result of performances in Indian domestic cricket.
“A few years back when I had scored 700 plus runs in a Ranji season, I was expecting some good news but it never came and I was disappointed. Over the years, I had stopped expecting as then you don’t feel disappointed. Today when my father called me up, it felt as if the world around me seemed so beautiful. It was unexpected but felt amazing,” Faizal said.
Fazal made 127 in Rest of India’s chase of 480 to win the 2015-16 Irani Cup against Mumbai, and a century and a fifty in India A’s victory in the Deodhar Trophy. In the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2015-16, Fazal made 312 runs at an average of 52 in seven innings, and in the 20-over Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy he scored 205 runs at a strike rate of 102 in nine innings.
“Everyone expects to play for India but then everyone does not get a chance. I am happy that I have got an opportunity to represent the country,” he added.
The others uncapped players are spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Jayant Yadav, and batsmen Karun Nair and Mandeep Singh. KL Rahul is uncapped in the limited-overs formats.
Team India is scheduled to play three-match ODI as well T20 series against Zimbabwe from June 11 to 22.