'His contributions remain in shadow of Virat Kohli but we shouldn't underestimate him': Wasim Jaffer on Shikhar Dhawan
- Former India opener Wasim Jaffer said Shikhar Dhawan's contributions are often remain in shadow of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma but the left-hander should not be underestimated.
Former India opener Wasim Jaffer has opined that Team India should not overlook opener Shikhar Dhawan for the opening slot in the upcoming T20 World and the ODI World Cup. Jaffer, who scored more than 10,000 runs in the domestic circuit, feels that Dhawan has done a lot for Indian cricket but his contributions have been overshadowed by the likes of Virat Kohli.
Even though the T20 World Cup is still a couple of months away, pundits and experts have already started weighing on various aspects of the team. Jaffer, while speaking during a video uploaded on his YouTube channel, made these remarks after the first India vs Sri Lanka ODI on July 18, in which captain Dhawan scored an unbeaten 86 to lead India to a dominating seven-wicket win.
"The way the Indian team has come up the ranks in white-ball cricket in the past few years, a lot of credit goes to Shikhar Dhawan as well, even though sometimes his contributions remain in the shadow of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma who are obviously outstanding players. But I think we shouldn't underestimate Shikhar Dhawan and I see him, at least for a year or two, a contender to play in this T20 World Cup and also the 2023 50-over World Cup."
Odisha coach Jaffer further added that Dhawan's IPL exploits over the past two years make the frontrunner for that opening spot in the upcoming ICC event.
"You can't rule out Shikhar Dhawan for the upcoming T20 World Cup. The way he has performed in the IPL in the past two years... even though we know Rohit Sharma is a surety to open, KL Rahul is a candidate, Virat Kohli said he wants to open, Prithvi Shaw is also coming up as a future contender, there are a lot of options. But Shikhar Dhawan shouldn't be ruled out either in 50-over or T20 internationals," quipped Jaffer.
In IPL 2020, Dhawan was the Delhi Capitals' top-scorer with 618 runs. In the 2021 edition, before the season was postponed, he remained at the top of the list once again with 380 runs in the first half.
During his fluent knock in the first ODI, Dhawan crossed 10,000 international runs as an opener across formats, becoming the 10th Indian batsman to achieve the feat. Moreover, he also breached the 6,000-run mark in ODIs.