The competition for the opening slot in India‘s limited-overs squads is heating up with a fit-again Shikhar Dhawan returning with impressive scores in the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka.
In the two completes matches, Dhawan scored 32 and 52, providing a strong opening partnership alongside KL Rahul who has been consistently putting up big scores. With Rohit Sharma rested, India have a happy headache as far as the opening combination is concerned.
With Rohit, who had a stunning 2019, is assured of his opening slot in limited-overs squad, the race is between Dhawan and Rahul to grab the other spot.
However, Dhawan isn’t worried. “All three players are doing very well,” the opener said after playing a starring role in India’s series clinching win in the third and final T20I in Pune on Friday. “Rohit, in particular, had an excellent 2019. Rahul has also done well in the last two months and he’s a really good player. Even I am in the picture, now that I’ve done well (laughs). It’s building up well. I don’t think about the competition since it’s not in my hands. I am happy with the fact that I could express myself in both opportunities I got.”
Talking about his own performance, he said, “We dominated the series and if I talk about myself, I had a challenge that I am coming back after an injury and I have to perform. Everyone has different challenges. A lot of players coming in, they have their own challenges.”
With India trying as many as six different batsmen at the No. 3 spot in their recent home T20Is, Dhawan said the idea behind it is to rotate players, giving ample chances to prove themselves in the world cup year. “In these series, we can do the experiment and once we know that this thing is clicking, then we go with this pattern. Number one, two or three we know who is going to come. That is why it important to do the experiment and we can take that risk right now,” he said.
He continued, “Today we wanted to give a fair chance to the players who hadn’t batted in the series. We’re left with just 15-20 games (before T20 World Cup). They’re rotating the players so that when the World Cup comes, everyone’s refined and knows their job. This is the best time to experiment.”
India have been good chasers with defending totals being a bit of a weak area which they have talked about in the past. While Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to field on Friday, Dhawan said the team anyway wanted to bat first and ‘refine’ themselves. “We won the first match and today, as a team, we wanted to bat first because we want to refine ourselves more while batting first and winning more games. That brings confidence and that is why we are consciously doing it,” Dhawan said.