The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday announced the 15-member squad alongside three reserves for the upcoming T20 World Cup. While many players expectedly made it to the team, some surprisingly failed to enter the list of 18 players. One such among the excluded players was Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan, who was the part of the team in the past two T20 World Cups in 2014 and 2016 in which India reached the final and semifinal of the tournament, respectively.
It is a no-brainer that dropping a player of Dhawan’s calibre and experience (68 T20Is) for a mega event would be nothing short of a headache for the selectors, however, KL Rahul’s recent form had to do a lot with it. While Rohit Sharma had already booked one of the opening slots, the second was up for grabs for which Rahul and Ishan Kishan got picked.
Dhawan is an important player, he will be back very soon: Chetan Sharma
Talking about the ouster of Dhawan, BCCI chief selector Chetan Sharma said that the selection committee wanted to look beyond the southpaw for the second opener’s spot. He, however, admitted that Dhawan is an important player to the team.
“Shikhar Dhawan is a very important player for us, he was the captain in Sri Lanka. What discussion happened I cannot disclose. He is important and he is there in the loop,” said Chetan Sharma in his virtual press-meet on late Wednesday night.
“But the need of the hour was that we look at other players and give Shikhar Dhawan some rest, otherwise he is an important player and he will be back very soon,” he added.
Chetan revealed that Kishan’s versatility in the batting department and the added advantage to be used as wicketkeeper helped him bag the spot in the final 15.
“We have three openers – Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan, who can bat as opener and can also fit into the middle order. So Kishan is giving us a lot of options, if needed he can open like he has done in ODIs (in Sri Lanka) when he got a fifty and he can also play in middle order because he is a good player of spin,” said the chief selector.