Stand-in skipper Shikhar Dhawan has admitted that the upcoming T20I series against Sri Lanka will be crucial for him on an individual basis as he looks to further his case for one of the opener’s berth in the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Shikhar Dhawan has taken his T20 batting to a different level in the past 2.5 seasons of the Indian Premier League.
In his last 35 IPL outings, the Delhi southpaw has racked up 1367 runs at an average of 45.46 and a strike rate of 141.95.
However, he hasn’t been able to replicate the same in international T20s. Shikhar Dhawan has featured in just 15 of the last 28 T20Is that India has played, averaging 25.92 while striking at 117.47.
Shikhar Dhawan was dropped from the playing 11 following a poor outing in the first T20I against England- 4 off 12 balls- earlier this year with Ishan Kishan and skipper Virat Kohli taking up the opener’s spot alongside Rohit Sharma.
With Virat Kohli publicly admitting that he may promote himself to the top of the order and KL Rahul already one of the prime options if the former bats at No.3, Dhawan desperately needs a big outing against Sri Lanka and then in the IPL to make himself undroppable from the playing 11.
And, he knows what impact performances in international matches can have.
“It is very important. Of course any international match has its own impact, and whenever you perform internationally it makes a huge impact. So on a personal note, I’m really looking forward to perform over here and make my place more stronger for World Cup contendership. Then we’ll see how it goes in the future,” said Shikhar Dhawan during the pre-series press conference.
India made wholesale changes in the final ODI after winning the first two games and the same could be the case in the T20I series as well if they end up wrapping the three-match rubber after two games itself, Dhawan signaled during the pre-series press conference.
We have to win the series. In the last ODI, there was a good opportunity to give some youngsters a chance and give them a taste of international cricket, because we had already won the series,” Dhawan said. “We’ll of course go in with our best XI first. We’ll try to win the first two matches, and then according to the situation, we can experiment in the last game, if needed,” he added.
“If we win two matches, then we have options to play any combination we want to. Otherwise, our main goal is to play the best XI to win the series. That’s our first priority. After that, if we can seal it like we did in the ODIs, we can think of experimenting.” said Dhawan.