Let us take a look at a few players, who can replace Shikhar Dhawan as a T20I opener
1. Mayank Agarwal
The stylish right-hander has fared exceedingly well in Tests. After waiting to play for the national team for long, he grabbed his chances instantly when they came. With 605 runs in 10 innings, he has probably sealed his place as a Test opener.
The next target in his sight would be a place in the limited-overs side. Mayank has excellent numbers in the IPL, especially in the last season, where he smashed 332 runs in 13 games. He can instantly go for the kill, which is justified by his IPL strike rate of 130. Besides, he has an exceptional game against the spinners.
The only thing that the 28-year-old Mayank would like to work upon is that of not throwing away starts, for he was dismissed five times during the 30s in IPL 2019. If he can improve that, he can be an asset for the team in all three formats of the game.
2. Lokesh Rahul
Rahul is probably the toughest competitor challenging Shikhar at the moment. The classy right-hander was selected in the World Cup as a backup opener and struck 361 runs in nine games after Shikhar had to pull out due to an injury.
The 27-year-old has always been a highly-rated T20I opener, due to his ability to switch gears as per the requirements. He also has all types of shots, which helps him play safe cricket without many risks. He has bossed the last two IPL seasons with 659 runs in 2018 and 593 in 2019, with all runs coming as an opener.
Though he hasn’t performed in Tests, he can be touted as a limited-overs specialist. He might not be very far from sealing a permanent place in the team, most likely in the top-order.
3. Shubman Gill
Touted as the next big thing in Indian cricket, Shubman has impressed everyone in all three formats. The 20-year-old won the Emerging Player award in IPL 2019, thanks to promotion in his batting order from number 7 to opener. As an opener, Shubman scored 236 runs in 6 games at a strike rate of 140.
His impressive performances haven’t been limited only to the IPL. He has delivered back-to-back match-winning knocks in the domestic cricket and India ‘A’ games. He has also received heaps of praises from captain Virat Kohli.
Therefore, one might see him getting a chance in T20Is soon. With an eye on the World Cup, the team management would be looking to test youngsters, and Shubman would be a safe bid to rely upon.