Dropping Dhawan- a no brainer or a right call?

It can be said that Team India hasn’t peaked any 'Shikhar' of any kind by ignoring the left-hander.

Dev Tyagi Author

Updated - 9 November 2021 11:29 pm

Whether to play Dhawan or not should never have been the question if it at all it was in the first place for the series against New Zealand.

Now that the decision, lacklustre that it may be, has been taken off leaving Dhawan out, it can be said that Team India hasn’t peaked any 'Shikhar' of any kind by ignoring the left-hander.

There are multiple reasons for it, but well, let’s simply raise a couple of glaring ones.

Among the batsmen who captured attention in the IPL 2021, think of Maxwell, Hetmyer, and undoubtedly, Faf du Plessis, Shikhar Dhawan was Delhi’s Capital gain of sorts.

Having been retained for an astronomical 5.2 crore, Shikhar Dhawan turned out to be a true asset for Delhi Capitals as he amassed 587 runs.

The only season where Delhi’s smiling batter managed to whisk past the 600 run barrier was in the previous edition of the famed T20 league, wherein he finished with 618 runs, to be precise.

Though this time around finishing just shy of the run mark bowlers consider exasperating, nearly- if not exactly- 600 runs in a season, Dhawan hit 3 fifties at an average of just under 40.

Moreover, it was the manner in which he went about gathering his runs that made him a one of a kind dasher.

Someone not necessarily recognized as a massive hitter, Shikhar Dhawan was fluency meets aggression in IPL 2021.

A season that was more about playing India’s favourite T20 franchise league in parts, one season held in the country whilst the other away from it, Dhawan’s batting was a great unifier of sorts.

It did more than up the tempo of big-hitting Delhi Capitals, a unit that now, after years seems rounded.

It made for some inspired viewing, to be frank.

Earlier this year, Dhawan chose the home ground of his long time batting companion Rohit Sharma, also a good friend, from which to author his highest IPL 2021 score.

Who can forget that 92 that came off just 49 deliveries and the fireworks Wankhede produced?

It’s the kind of an inning that can say a lot about batters; that breed is long described as vicious by bowlers who can’t seem to work out a way to their stumps.

It was just the kind of inning Team India is bound to miss as a new looking side, all set to be coached by Rahul Dravid, will meet familiar foes in T20 internationals- New Zealand.

What’s sad though, is the fact that the last that the two teams met in a proper bilateral series, which was in February of 2020, Dhawan wasn’t in the side.

A troublesome shoulder injury had kept the 35-year-old freewheeling cricketer out.

While this time around, perceptibly speaking, the onus on fielding a new team that can sufficiently test India’s bench strength has kept Dhawan out.

Unless we are missing something major that coach Dravid and captain Rohit know and we fans don’t.

Though a thing is certain.

Also Read: BCCI announce India squad for New Zealand T20I series; Rohit Sharma named captain

While the Rohit- Rahul ensemble cast featuring a wide array of talents such as Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, among the many batters is set to excite, the fact that one of India’s most fluent scorers in white-ball cricket hasn’t been picked will sadden fans.

Usually upon picking a talent or a new find a reason is given and is gladly excepted but that upon ignoring someone prominent no possible reason is offered sort of points to a vacuum.

The critics who like to play with controversy may call it a grey area.

But those who’ve lovingly accepted Dhawan’s entertaining batting for the past decade will call it, “what just happened.”

In a month where the devoted fan has had a lot to deal with, a loss to a Pakistan, who played way better than India, being just one of the pressures, not seeing a familiar figure of faith and gladness will not be easy.

But again, will we get to know a reason behind Dhawan’s sudden axing- provided one can call it that- is something the team management can say, no fantasy gaming app or fan quiz or poll can provide any answers.

The Delhi-born is 241 runs away from 2,000 T20I runs (66 batting innings) with 11 fifties and a career strike rate of 28.