3 Indian players who would be better off playing white ball cricket alone
The Indian Test squad for the West Indies home series has been announced. The talk around the town is about the exclusion of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan from the Test squad. Both Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan had an outstanding Asia Cup. They were the leading run scorers of the tournament and were instrumental in India’s triumph in the Asia Cup.
Now within 24 hours of India’s triumph in Asia Cup, both find themselves out of the Indian Test squad to play against the West Indies. The selectors have taken the “horses for courses” route for the two different formats of the game.
In this article, we analyse about the merits of 3 Indian players who would be better off playing white ball cricket alone to further their own career.
Matches – 34 Innings – 58 Runs – 2315 Highest – 190 Avg – 40 Hundred - 7
Shikhar Dhawan had a sensational Test debut against Australia at Mohali when he scored 187 runs off 174 balls. His innings was studded with 33 fours and 2 sixes. Unfortunately, Dhawan got injured in his very first Test and couldn’t play the next Test match.
Shikhar Dhawan’s Test career has been a tale of two halves. His Test average in Asia stands at a healthy 61 whereas his average outside Asia is only 27. Dhawan has just three fifty-plus scores outside Asia.
Dhawan’s tendency to poke at deliveries outside the off-stump has been the main reason for his failures in seaming conditions like England, South Africa, and New Zealand. Even in the recent series against England in England, Dhawan could muster just 162 runs in 8 innings at an average of 20. Even before the England series started, no one expected Dhawan to come good in the Test series. Dhawan’s flawed batting technique has been exploited outside Asia repeatedly.
When it comes to white ball cricket, Dhawan is a different player. In white ball cricket, he has succeeded even in alien conditions like England and South Africa. The wickets for one-day matches are generally batsman friendly keeping in mind the entertainment value to the crowd. Besides, the bowlers have their restrictions in employing short pitch deliveries in one-day matches. The white ball doesn’t swing as much as the red ball.
A player like Dhawan can thrive on such friendly conditions. The absence of slip cordon in one-day matches encourages him to go for his shots without any fear of getting nicked to the slips.
Shikhar Dhawan’s Test career is now at the crossroads. The presence of another quality opener in KL Rahul and the youngsters like Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal will make it that much more difficult for Shikhar Dhawan to come back into Test cricket.
Dhawan is 32 years old and has got another 3 productive years of cricket left in him. The ideal choice for him would be to play white ball cricket and Test matches in Asia, but he cannot pick and choose matches. The next best option available for Dhawan is to forget Test cricket and concentrate only on white ball cricket to prolong his career up to World Cup 2023.
By choosing to do so, Dhawan can guard against loss of confidence arising out of Test failures. He could be benefited by the interim breaks during the Test season. As far as white ball cricket is concerned, Dhawan is a champion. The exclusion from the Test team could be a blessing in disguise for Shikhar Dhawan.