Shikhar Dhawan scored a match-defining 97 in the first ODI of the ongoing three-match series against the West Indies and was awarded Man of the Match. However, the stand-in ODI captain is not part of the Indian squad for the T20I series against the same opposition, which will be played after the ODI leg of the tour.
Saba Karim Doesn’t Think Selectors Will Pick Shikhar Dhawan In T20I Squad
During a discussion, Saba Karim was asked if Shikhar Dhawan could force the selectors to include him in the scheme of things for India’s T20I side.
He replied in the negative: “Not in my opinion. The T20 format is different; the demands in T20 cricket are different. There the number of talented players we are seeing at the moment, I don’t think the selectors’ thinking is towards Shikhar Dhawan.”
The former Indian selector, however, added that the opening batter is an integral member of the Men in Blue’s ODI side, elaborating: “I feel Shikhar Dhawan’s place in ODI cricket is confirmed; he is an indispensable force as an opening batter. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are a fantastic combination.”
Shikhar Dhawan last played a T20I during the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka in July last year. He has reportedly been told by the team management that he’s no longer in their scheme of things for the shortest format of the game.
Saba Karim: India Needs A Dependable Batter Like Shikhar Dhawan In ODIs
Saba Karim highlighted the importance of a dependable batter like Shikhar Dhawan in the 50-overs format of the game. He top scored in the 1st ODI against hosts West Indies. His 97 of 99 balls consisted of 10 fours and 3 sixes. He will be disappointed after missing out on a century but will look to carry on in the same vein in the next 2 ODIs.
He observed: “He (Dhawan) has been performing like this regularly in ODI cricket. The consistency is seen in his batting and in ODI cricket; apart from strike rate and average, you need a batter who you can depend on.”
The former Indian wicketkeeper-batter pointed out that Shikhar Dhawan’s opening partnership with Rohit Sharma has consistently eased the job of the middle and lower-order batters.
Saba Karim explained: “Shikhar is a player, who if we see the last two or three years, then whether it is Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli, his role has been extremely important. It is because of Shikhar and Rohit’s partnership that the following batters have found it easier to set or chase a target.”
Saba Karim concluded by observing that Shikhar Dhawan might not have been at his best in the ODI series against England. That’s because he was returning to international cricket after a long break, but the vintage Gabbar was evident in the first ODI against the Windies. He made scores of 31 not out, 9, and 1 in the England ODIs, where he averaged a paltry 20.5 amassing 41 runs.