Prior to the Sri Lanka series, former Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar declared that even if India wins the series against Sri Lanka 6-0, it will make no difference to Shikhar Dhawan, and only races would count. He added that he does not think the senior opener has done anything wrong in the shortest format.
The emergence of KL Rahul in T20Is meant that the Karnataka batsman took over the opening castle from Shikhar Dhawan. However, there was a time when pretty much ODIs, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma were the regular openers on the site. The veteran Indian opener has performed extremely well in the last two seasons of the IPL and has even improved KL Rahul. As Rahul loses his place in the England series due to his horror, the opening spot is ready and with the Sri Lanka series, Dhawan can once again throw his hat in the ring.
Reflecting on the Dhawan situation, Ajit Agarkar felt he did not feel that even winning the series would do any good for Dhawan’s place in the T20Is, where driving is the only currency that matters.
“I do not think the captaincy will change anything. Even if India win this series 6-0, I do not think it will make a difference to his place in terms of batting. It is the race that matters, ”said Agarkar, HT reported.
Agarkar also reckoned that Dhawan has not done much wrong in the IPL and it is just that Rohit and Rahul are currently ahead of him in the pick order.
“I think he will have to set goals, especially in T20Is. I do not think he is doing anything wrong in the IPL. Rohit and KL Rahul are currently ahead of him. Rahul had a pretty average series against England, but otherwise his form has been unusual in white ball cricket. “
The former Indian pacer also compared Dhawan to an Alto car over high-speed cars to explain its position in various white ball formats.
“It simply came to our notice then. In the battle for high-speed race cars (read T20s) and sustainable vehicles (read Tests), Dhawan was always like an Alto. He used to meet most of the needs of the Indian team in his own style, which made him an indispensable part of ODI XI, but never quite the same in T20Is. “
The senior Indian opener has been unique to the Delhi Capitals in the IPL, especially in the last two editions. He has hammered 998 runs in the 25 innings to an excellent average of 47.5 to go with a strike rate of 140.6. Agarkar praised the Southpaws displays in the IPL and claimed that he keeps the Indian openers on their toes.
Shikhar played the first T20 against England and was then left out for the next four. He came back and had a unique IPL. Even in the previous edition, he was excellent. He’s not doing anything wrong.
“You almost felt that the two (Rohit and Rahul) had overtaken Shikhar, but he keeps running, and that puts pressure on people like KL Rahul. Do not think there is any doubt about Rohits place in the team, he is the vice-captain of white ball cricket. But you can definitely put pressure on Rahul, and for that you will have to score races, and that is exactly what Shikhar needs to do to get his place back in XI, ”added Agarkar.
The ODI leg in the Sri Lanka series marks the start of the white-ball series. The first ODI will take place on 18 July. The three-match ODI series is followed by the T20Is.