Renowned as one of India’s premier ODI openers, Shikhar Dhawan‘s last appearance in a 50-over match dates back to December in Bangladesh. With the absence of game time since then, speculation arises that the seasoned 37-year-old may not secure a place in the upcoming ODI World Cup scheduled to kick off on October 5, particularly on home soil.
The question lingers: What could be the rationale behind excluding Dhawan, a stalwart performer for India in ICC events, from a final World Cup appearance before his potential retirement? Former West Indies captain Daren Ganga delves into this matter in an insightful conversation with OneCricket, featured in the segment titled ‘Beyond The Stumps’.
Ganga, acknowledging Dhawan’s remarkable cricketing journey, states, “He (Dhawan) is an extraordinary player, boasting an impressive record in ICC tournaments. Nevertheless, while holding him in high regard, I believe India boasts a pool of talented young players capable of stepping up to fill the void created by his absence. While respecting his significant contributions to Indian cricket, the emergence of vibrant, young talents compelled him to make way for the next generation.”
Ganga elaborates on the balancing act between experience and youthful vigor, pointing out the ascendancy of players like Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan. “Consider the remarkable performances by Gill and Kishan in their relatively short careers. These talents are making their mark at the international level, and a strategic blend of seasoned players and youthful athleticism is essential for the team’s dynamics,” Ganga affirms in his OneCricket interview.
The recent ODI series in the Caribbean serves as a case in point. India entrusted Ishan Kishan with the opening role throughout the series, a responsibility he seized with both hands, accumulating an impressive tally of 184 runs and clinching the Player of the Series accolade. As a result, Kishan emerges as a promising contender to deputize as an opener for the Men in Blue at the World Cup. Meanwhile, the potential partnership of Shubman Gill alongside Rohit Sharma at the top order adds a dimension of intrigue to India’s opening strategy.
In conclusion, the intriguing question of Shikhar Dhawan’s omission from the 2023 World Cup squad is dissected by former West Indies skipper Daren Ganga. While Dhawan’s contributions to Indian cricket are highly regarded, Ganga underscores the imperative of nurturing young talents and maintaining a dynamic blend of experience and youthful exuberance to propel India’s campaign on the global stage.