‘Dhawan’s approach baffles me,’ former chief selector names Rohit’s new opening partner in T20Is
Former India opener and chief selector Krisnamachari Srikkanth stated that the Indian team management must find a settled combination in T20Is as soon as possible. Agreeing that there was no need of a drastic change despite their first ever defeat to Bangladesh in the shortest form of the game, Srikkanth said there is a need to rethink the opening combination.
“The defeat in Delhi should not lead to any knee-jerk reaction. With the T20 World Cup in mind, these experiments are required and if you’re not fielding the best side, a reversal has to be accepted as part of the learning,” Srikkanth wrote in his column for the Times of India.
“However, the team management must find a settled combination sooner than later. Workload management is also vital, so the think tank does have their work cut out. As often in the past, India failed to accelerate during Powerplay. Rohit Sharma often make it up but Shikar Dhawan does fail to shift gears when required and that has cost the team,” Srikkanth wrote.
The former chief selector further added that he found Dhawan’s approach in T20Is baffling and named KL Rahul as a possible replacement of Dhawan at the top of the order.
“What baffles me is the approach of Dhawan. His inability to go out and play his natural game despite being a senior member is hurting the team. I will stick my neck out and field KL Rahul as an opener in this format. Along with Rohit, the team will have two explosive batsmen when field restrictions are in place,” he added.
Dhawan was India’s top-scorer in the first T20I against Bangladesh at New Delhi but his strike rate was below 100. The left-hander scored 41 off 43 balls before getting run out. Dhawan has been one of India’s mainstays in ODIs but his inability to shift gears in T20Is has always kept him under scrutiny.
KL Rahul, on the other hand, has shown time and again that he has the game to completely send the opposition on the backfoot. He is the only Indian apart from Rohit Sharma to have two T20I hundreds to his name. Rahul batted at No. 3 in the first T20I.
Srikkanth backed underfire India wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant.
“With Virat Kohli firm at one-drop, I would like to see Rishab Pant to be given an extended (fair) run at four. Let’s face it, the top-four make or break games in T20s. Once we have settled batsmen who are assured of their roles, I am sure India will do well in the World Cup,”.
“I do understand the logic behind Saha taking over in Test cricket, but Pant should be the primary pick in white-ball cricket. Any comparison to MS Dhoni should stop. It is not doing the youngster any good and players like Dhoni are once in a generation,” Srikkanth added.