I think Shikhar Dhawan is aware of the situation: Mohammad Kaif on India’s opening conundrum ahead of T20 WC

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KEY STORY

  • Former India batsman Mohammad Kaif has backed Shikhar Dhawan to cement his place in India’s T20I side ahead of the T20 World Cup this year. Dhawan has fallen behind in the pecking order when it comes to opening with KL Rahul being India’s first-choice opener in the shortest format of the game along with the experienced Rohit Sharma.
  • Nonetheless, Dhawan has been consistently doing well in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and has been challenging Rahul directly for the opening slot. After a brilliant IPL 2021 for Delhi Capitals, Dhawan will be looking to continue his purple patch in India’s upcoming limited-overs twin series against Sri Lanka.
  • Dhawan will be captaining the second-string Indian side in the absence of the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah among others, who are in England for the upcoming five-match Test series. Dhawan will Iead India in the three-match ODI series followed by the three T20Is.
  • Sharing his views on the heavy competition for the opening spot ahead of the T20 World Cup, Kaif said Dhawan is aware of the situation and has improved his batting significantly to present a case for selection ahead of Rahul.
  • “I think Shikhar Dhawan is aware of the situation. I’ve seen him very closely recently and he’s been in fantastic form. He has upped his strike rate as well, and he’s covered for the doubts that were being raised about that aspect lately,” said Kaif, who is the assistant coach of Delhi Capitals.

CONCLUSION

  • Besides Dhawan and Rahul, captain Virat Kohli had also thrown his name into the mix after opening the batting with Rohit during the England home series earlier this year. Kohli had said he would like to open the batting for India with Rohit more often in the shortest format. Kaif said it is a good headache for India to have with so many senior players in good form ahead of the T20 World Cup.
  • “I think Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and then Virat Kohli – he might open or bat number three – these three or four senior players are in good form and it will benefit the team a lot. You want to have players who have been in good form, good touch with the game, and Shikhar Dhawan is one of them,” said Kaif.
  • Dhawan-led India will take on Sri Lanka in a three-match ODI series starting from July 18 (Sunday) followed by three T20Is.
    Watch the 1st ODI on 18th July 2021 LIVE on SONY TEN 1 and SONY SIX in English from 3.00 pm IST

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