Reflecting on Shikhar Dhawan’s exclusion from India's T20 World Cup squad, chief selector Chetan Sharma has stated that the left-hander is an important player and he is there in the loop. Sharma further added that it was the need of the hour to look at some other players and give Dhawan some rest.
The selection committee on Wednesday announced the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup 2021, which is scheduled to begin on October 17 in UAE. There were some surprising omissions in the squad, one of them being that of Shikhar Dhawan.
Reflecting on the decision to drop the experienced opener, selection committee chairman Chetan Sharma stated that Dhawan is an important player for India and continues to be there in the loop.
“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,” Sharma said in his first virtual press meet.
“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 further stated.
The squad for the marquee tournament includes as many as four options for the opening slot in Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan. Rohit and Kohli had opened in the decider of the five-match T20I home series against England earlier this year, and had both registered brisk fifties.
Sharma reckoned that the team has enough options at the top, and said that it's an added advantage that each of them can fit into the middle order.
“We have three openers — Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Ishan Kishan, who can bat as an 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,” he remarked.
“It is up to the team management if they want Kohli to open the batting, but as of now, we have picked three openers. Virat is an asset for the team. When he bats in the middle order, the team plays around him. He has a brilliant record in T20s batting in the middle order. But as I said, it all depends on what the situation is at that point of time.”
India will start their campaign against Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai.