Shikhar Dhawan's contributions as important as Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma: Harbhajan Singh
Veteran Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh believes Shikhar Dhawan is as important to the Indian team as captain Virat Kohli. Dhawan, who missed half of the Men in Blue's campaign at the ICC World Cup 2019, made his comeback in the limited-overs series against West Indies and is yet to find his mojo with the bat. The left-hander had slammed a brilliant century against Australia in India's group stage clash at the World Cup before picking up an injury which forced him to miss the rest of the tournament after a fracture on left thumb.
Dhawan featured in the T20I and ODI series against West Indies after recovering from his injury. He failed to impress returning with 27 and 38 runs respectively from the T20I and ODI series in the Carribean. While there have been debates over trying KL Rahul as an opener in place of Dhawan in T20Is, Harbhajan has backed the left-hander to bounce back strongly against South Africa.
Harbhajan insisted that Rohit Sharma and Dhawan are one of the best opening pairs in the world and that the left-hander is equally important as Kohli or Rohit. "Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are some of the finest batsmen that India has seen, and have proven to be one of India's best opening pairs. Shikhar Dhawan's contribution to the game is as important as that of Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli," Harbhajan was quoted as saying by IANS.
"Be it T20 or 50 overs, irrespective of the format, Shikhar is really good. According to me, there is no better opener than Shikhar Dhawan, along with Rohit Sharma, in any format - T20 and 50 overs. If he continues working on his fitness in the coming 2-3 years, I think he will be unstoppable," he added.
Dhawan has scored 5518 runs in 133 ODIs for India and has been a consistent performer for the Men in Blue in limited-overs having successfully established a strong opening partnership with Rohit. The left-hander will be eager to respond to his critics when India meet South Africa in the second T20I on Wednesday.