'Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid said we want you to…': Shikhar Dhawan after he was suddenly dropped from Team India
Shikhar Dhawan was only kept for ODIs and it looked like he was one of the probables for the showpiece event, which will be played in October-November in India.
Shikhar Dhawan's hopes of making an international comeback will depend a lot in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which gets underway from March 31. Dhawan, who was one of India's mainstay at least in the 50-over format, lost his place in the team in January. With the year being a World Cup year it was a bold move by BCCI to remove experience and get in youth in the form of Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill. The move turned gold for BCCI as both the youngsters showcased their potential with explosive double centuries. Since then Dhawan has not made a single appearance in Indian colours.
Dhawan was in decent form when he was suddenly axed from the ODI side after the series against Bangladesh. The veteran cricketer was the senior-most figure in the 50-over setup and was also given the opportunity to lead a second-string Indian XI on a few occasions when seniors Rohit and Virat Kohli were either rested or were playing high-profile series with the first-choice team. In an interview with Aaj Tak, Dhawan opened on the sudden axing and appeared to be content with whatever he achieved.
"This is not something new in cricket. Or this happened just with me, plenty others have met with same fate. There are times when you play well throughout the year and then your form drops for one month or two, sometimes that becomes bigger than your performance throughout the year. When a captain, coach and selector take a decision they put plenty of thoughts into it," said the out-of-favour India star, who will now be seen leading Punjab Kings in IPL 2023.
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Dhawan played 22 ODIs in 2022, where he amassed a 688 runs at a decent strike rate of above 70. In fact with the core focused on the shorter format because of the T20 World Cup, Dhawan was only kept for ODIs and it looked like he was one of the probable for the showpiece event, which will be played in October-November in India. Dhawan also was assured of the same when the coach and captain changed. But it was the knock of Ishan against Bangladesh in December last year, when Dhawan realised he could lose his spot from the ODI format. Ishan blasted the fastest double-century ever in ODIs and once Gill emerged to become the highest scorer of 2023 so far scoring 624 runs from nine matches, the door virtually shut on Dhawan's chances.
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"When Rohit took over the captaincy he along with Rahul Dravid backed me enough. They told me they wanted me to focus on my cricket and that my vision should be the next World Cup. 2022 was very good for me, I was consistent in ODIs. But there is this young guy who has been doing well in two formats, and when my form dipped in a series or two then they gave a chance to Shubman and he has lived up to their expectation. We are used to such situation. When Ishan Kishan slammed a double century against Bangladesh, then for a moment I thought I could be out of the team," said Dhawan.
Now presented with a new role, Dhawan would look to grab this opportunity to give selectors a reminder ahead of the ODI World Cup. India's top-order had completely misfired in the recent series against Australia, which the Aussies won 2-1.