Former India batsman, Virender Sehwag has come out in support of Shikhar Dhawan after the first T20I where the left-hander scored just a solitary run and was castled by a fast yorker from Mitchell Starc.
Shikhar Dhawan had opened with Mayank Agarwal in the 3-match ODI series. However, as KL Rahul comes back at the top in T20I cricket – from number 5 in ODIs – there was a toss-up between Dhawan and Agarwal. The left-hander was picked over Agarwal for the first T20I in Canberra.
On the back of his phenomenal IPL, Dhawan is making a comeback in the T20I squad. He was left out of all the five T20Is in New Zealand, where Rahul and Rohit Sharma opened. The southpaw was the second-highest run-scorer in the IPL, and also became the first batsman in the history of the tournament to record back-to-back hundreds.
He should also take his time while playing: Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag has opined that Shikhar Dhawan is an experienced player and is coming off a brilliant IPL in the UAE. Hence, Sehwag feels that if he was picked to play in the first match, the team should persist with the left-hander for at least the entire series.
Sehwag pointed out that Dhawan had scores of 74, 30, and 16 in the three ODIs but couldn’t convert any inning into a three-figure mark. The former opener maintains that Dhawan is a vastly experienced player, and feels that he will come good in the upcoming matches.
Speaking to the broadcaster, Sony Networks, Virender Sehwag said, “The sort of experienced player he is, I feel Shikhar Dhawan will and should get more chances. Although in one of the ODIs I think he had scored 25-30 runs, but could not convert that to a big score.
“But the form he was in the IPL, with two centuries, I don’t think he should be left out for the next two T20Is because he has the experience and when he fires, he will play good cricket and contribute for the team.”
The former opener understands that it is difficult to score runs against the new ball pacers in Australia. The 42-year-old advises Dhawan to spend some time in the middle and just rotate the strike, as at the other end KL Rahul will score quickly which could give him time to settle before attacking the spinners.
“It is not easy to score runs in Australia against the new ball. He should also take his time while playing. When KL Rahul is batting with him, the form he is in, he is scoring runs at a fast pace. So, if Dhawan can just rotate the strike and once the spinners come later, he can cash in and build a good partnership,” Virender Sehwag added.
The men in blue won the first T20I by 11 runs largely courtesy of Ravindra Jadeja and Yuzvendra Chahal. Both the teams will lock horns in the second T20I on Sunday in Sydney.