Why Shikhar Dhawan was not considered for the T20 World Cup 2021

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The current form of openers like KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma kept Shikhar Dhawan outside of the T20 World Cup squad. Other backup openers and middle-order batsmen like Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav made the selection of Shikhar virtually impossible. This time, some discouraging eliminations were found in the World Cup squad. Such types of omissions are out of expectation which surprised many cricket fans and professionals. One of such huge surprises was the exclusion of Shikhar Dhawan from the squad. This news did not just prove to be shocking but frustrating as well. This is because this opening batsman was nominated to be the skipper during a limited-over series against Sri Lanka. 

It is believed that the Indian team is balanced. However, it is shocking to note that Dhawan couldn’t make it to the T20 World Cup squad, which is disappointing news for cricket fans. Moreover, Dhawan is an experienced and skilful batsman to be a part of any other international team playing in the tournament. This is why it feels more shocking to see his exclusion from the team. In the past, he has frequently proved match-winning performance.

The question now arises what led to the removal of Dhawan. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul are core members of the squad, as they have consistently offered good starts to their respective franchises in the IPL. Through the wonderful touch, KL Rahul was a unanimous selection and it would be unfair to keep him down in the order. For, it will disturb the balance of the team. If the event was organized out of Asia, Shikhar Dhawan, perhaps, with his vast experience would have been incorporated into the team as a substitute opener.

In UAE, if either KL Rahul or Rohit Sharma would get injured, the team could assign Ishan Kishan or Suryakumar Yadav as an opener. Often, Yadav comes at number three while Kishan has opened many times for Mumbai Indians.

Virat Kohli has also opened for RCB team, which probably made the entry of Dhawan to the T20 World Cup squad impossible. Besides, his replacement, Ishan Kishan, can keep wickets, if required, besides his fire-packed batting. 

Some people also argue that Dhawan is a slow starter and gets into the ODI mould even in T20I. The corresponding technique is ideal for the ODIs, not for 20-over games. Considering this aspect, the Delhi capitals opener solved this issue and enhanced his strike rate. During the recent four seasons, he constantly scored runs at a strike rate of more than 134.

Some cricket fans get disheartened and think that the removal of Dhawan indicates the termination of this T20I career. Well, perhaps this decision may leave him just as an ODI player. If the selected openers fail to perform well in the tournament, team India would consider the inclusion of some new players like Devdutt Padikkal in the coming years. But, he can get motivated through his Delhi Capitals partner Ravi Ashwin, who made a comeback after four years.

Reference Resource: 

  1. https://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/t20-world-cup-why-shikhar-dhawan-missed-out-7497511/
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