Shikhar Dhwan has not been among the runs, except in the last ODI in Mohali. There are talks that he might miss the plane to England for the World Cup. But here are five reasons why the national selectors should persist with the southpaw
The Indian team are currently up against Australia in a five-match ODI series. The series between two promising nations stands 2-2 after heroics from the Australian all-rounder Ashton Turner, took away the match from India. The men-in-yellow registered their first fifty over victory of the tour in Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s backyard making the series stay alive and squared the series at Mohali.
Interestingly, this limited-overs series is also India’s last International assignment before the forthcoming World Cup which is scheduled to be played in England and Wales from May 30.
It isn’t hidden that the Indian team rely too much on the top order, and especially the top three to score the most number of runs. Over the last year and a half, statistically, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Virat Kohli have scored almost eighty percent of the runs for the national side in the limited overs format.
Seeing this, the only thing men-in-blue will not want is their pillars to go out of form. However, the moustache-rolling southpaw Shikhar Dhawan was struggling to get runs under his belt before the fourth ODI at PCA IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali where he scored a daddy hundred amassing 143 runs off 115 deliveries. The innings was laced with seven boundaries and two mighty sixes over long off region.
The questions about his selection were raised seeing hi performance in last 17 innings, he has scored just a single fifty and big hundred, and if we remove that stat for a minute, he last scored a hundred in September which was six months before.
In these circumstances, the cricket pundits are giving their say on whether Shikhar Dhawan should board a flight to England for the World Cup or not. With this, MyNation brings to you 5 reasons why Shikhar Dhawan should still travel to England for the most prestigious event of the year.
1. Form is temporary, the class is permanent
To go by this famous saying, Shikhar deserves a chance to play in the big event. Though the recent stats say something else, we have seen what the 33-year-old is capable of.
If not this series, the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) will give him an opportunity to reflect on his mistakes and start fresh in the World Cup.
2. Big Match Player
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Shikhar Dhawan is a big match player. He has done extensively well in all the ICC events he has played, which makes his case stronger. He played in his first ICC event in 2013 while playing Champions Trophy, and we have seen what he brought to the table.
The way he played against South Africa in the opening game, was an absolute treat for Indian fans. Post that, he has been able to cement his place and deliver when the team need him most.
3. Well equipped with English conditions
As mentioned in the second point, Shikhar played his first ICC event back in 2013. Interestingly, the event happened in England conditions at the same time as it’s scheduled to happen this time around.
With a little over 6 more years of International experience post that, Shikhar will probably be in a better condition to express himself. He is well-equipped with the English conditions, which adds a cherry to the cake and makes his case more strong.
4. No time for replacement
The Indian skipper Virat Kohli has already mentioned that IPL performances will not be kept in mind before coming to final team selection for the event.
With just two encounters remaining before the World Cup, the Indian team have no time left for experimentation. And even when one wants to keep Shikhar out of the contention, he cannot.
5. Plays seam bowling well
Every cricket fan, who has been watching Indian cricket closely over the years, would agree that Shikhar Dhawan is one of few players who play seam bowling well. In the English conditions, playing seam and swing will be the actual challenge and Dhawan has the mantra for that.
In the end, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has invested a lot in him and it’s time to just back him, and it’s time to believe in his abilities. As they say, “Leave him alone, he knows what he is doing”.
(The views expressed in this article are the author's own and doesn't necessarily reflect that of MyNation)
Last Updated 13, Mar 2019, 10:49 PM IST