Out of favour Indian batsman Shikhar Dhawan that sometimes a poor harvest for a month or two ends up undoing all the good work done throughout the year. He revealed that he was very much in captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid’s plans for the ICC World Cup, but indicated that the rise of Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan has made it tough for him to return to the Indian side.
“This is not something new in cricket. Or this happened just with me, plenty of others have met with the 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," Dhawan said during an interaction with Aaj Tak.
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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 situations. When Ishan Kishan slammed a double century against Bangladesh, then for a moment I thought I could be out of the team," Dhawan continued.
Dhawan had a fine 2022, aggregating 688 runs in 22 innings, which was only second to Shreyas Iyer’s tally of 724 and more than the runs managed by the star batters Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. In 2021, he had amassed 297 runs in six ODIs at an impressive average of 59.4 and a strike rate of 91.95. Dhawan led the Indian side too on a few occasions in the past two years when the first team players were away playing high-profile series.
Also read - ‘There is Always a Chance of me Coming Back’: Shikhar Dhawan Hasn’t Given up on His ODI World Cup Dream
However, his form dipped sharply in the ODI series in Bangladesh towards the end of last year and he could only score 7, 8 and 3 in the three-match series that India went on to lose 1-2. As Dhawan struggled in that series, Kishan emerged to play a blistering 210 off 131 balls in Chattogram. It was the fastest ODI double century and meant that he immediately started to be seen as Dhawan’s alternative as Rohit’s partner in the 50-over format.
Then Gill rubbed it in when he was given an opportunity. The young Punjab batsman hammered a century and a half-century against Sri Lanka in January and followed it up with a century and a double-century against New Zealand. If Kishan’s double ton was the fastest, Gill’s one was by the youngest man ever.
Gill has hit centuries in the other two formats this year too and is increasingly looking like a certainty for the ICC World Cup that is to be played later in the year. With the young guns Kishan and Gill in the driver’s seat, the 37-year-old Dhawan’s chances in the Indian set-up may be difficult to come by.
Dhawan had earlier told PTI that he still had a chance to get back into the Indian side. However, in the chat with Aaj Tak he did acknowledge that Gill had been doing better than him and had he been the captain or a national selector, he would have picked Gill ahead of himself.
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