Reetinder Sodhi has poked the Indian selectors to consider Shikhar Dhawan in their plans for the upcoming T20 World Cup after the opener's phenomenal showing in the West Indies. However, national selector Saba Karim stuck to his guns stating Dhawan will be a key component for the 50-over World Cup.
Shikhar Dhawan's phoenix-like rise has put him firmly back in the subconscious of Indian cricket fans after stellar showings in the recently concluded ODI series against West Indies. Made skipper owing to Rohit Sharma's absence, the veteran guided India to a clean sweep while himself putting up some excellent performances. He ended up with 168 runs in three games, including two half-centuries and a high score of 97.
The 36-year-old simply carried over his great form from the IPL where he tallied lover 450 runs averaging nearly 40. Thes showings have more or less cemented the Delhite's spot as India's first-choice opener for next year's World Cup on home soil along with Rohit Sharma. However, former Indian cricketer Reetinder Sodhi believes Dhawan's form has been meritious enough to earn him a place in the T20I side as well.
"We need him (Dhawan) if we talk about the 50-over World Cup. But why not Shikhar Dhawan for the T20 World Cup, why not an experienced player, the sort of form that is being seen, the way his feet are moving, the fantastic fielding he is doing, Shikhar has presented an extremely strong case," he told India News.
Dhawan last played a T20I in July 2021 against Sri Lanka where, as skipper, he racked up 86 runs in three innings for a second-string Indian lineup. With the emergence of young guns such as Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad, the left-hand batsman soon lost favour in the Indian set-up only to script his comeback in 2022.
"Dhawan is a player who was down and out. There was not much talk about him a few months back, but it has been a fantastic turnaround because he is captaining in ODI cricket and the form he has caught, it seems he is a certainty," Sodhi added.
Even so, the comments did not faze national selector Saba Karim who outlined Shikhar Dhawan's role as a key player in the ODI team, choosing to disregard conversations about his inclusion in the T20 team.
"His performance has been exceptional if we talk about ODI cricket. Shikhar Dhawan showed that he has a lot of cricket left in him and presented a strong case for next year's World Cup," Karim praised Dhawan.
"I have been saying this for a long time that he is a very important player along with Rohit in the opening partnership for the World Cup. After this performance, the selectors will also be definitely encouraged to persist with Shikhar."