Former Indian captain Virender Sehwag has opined that Shikhar Dhawan will retain his spot for the remainder of the T20I series against Australia despite his slightly indifferent returns on the tour so far.
He made this observation when asked if there should be a question mark over Shikhar Dhawan’s selection for the last two T20Is during a discussion on the Sony Sports network.
Sehwag responded that Shikhar Dhawan deserves more chances because of the experience he has. The left-hander played a 74-run knock in the first ODI, but was unable to convert it into a big hundred and take India to a win.
“I don’t think so. Because the sort of experienced player he is, I feel Shikhar Dhawan will and should get more chances. Although in one of the ODIs I think he had scored 25-30 runs but he could not convert that to a big score.”
The former Indian opener highlighted that Shikhar Dhawan is on the back of some excellent performances in IPL 2020 including centuries in two consecutive matches.
“But the form he was in the IPL, with two centuries, I don’t think he should be left out for the next two T20Is because he has the experience and when he fires, he will play good cricket and contribute for the team.”
Virender Sehwag pointed out that it is not easy for an opener to score runs in Australian conditions against a quality attack.
“At times, it is difficult for an opener to score runs at will in these conditions against such a good bowling attack. Because I have gone through that stage, it is not easy to score runs in Australia against the new ball.”
The 42-year-old iterated that Shikhar Dhawan needs to be given a longer run while asking his fellow Delhiite to be a little more circumspect at the top of the order.
“So, I feel a little more time should be given to Shikhar Dhawan and he should also take his time while playing.”
Virender Sehwag signed off by observing that Shikhar Dhawan should look to rotate the strike at the start of the innings since KL Rahul is in smashing form. He added that the Delhi Capitals opener can make up for it when the spinners are introduced into the attack.
“When KL Rahul is batting with him, the form he is in, he is scoring runs at a fast pace. So, if Dhawan can just rotate the strike and once the spinners come later on, he can cash in and build a good partnership.”
Shikhar Dhawan had a decent three-match ODI series, aggregating 120 runs at an average of 40. But he had his stumps rattled by a peach of a delivery from Mitchell Starc in the first T20I after having scored just a solitary run. The southpaw would be keen to leave his mark on the series in the last two T20Is to be played in Sydney.