End of the road for Shikhar Dhawan in Tests?
BCCI released a statement regarding the team selection for the two-match Test series against Windies which stated, "Taking stock of the recent workload, the selectors have decided to rest Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Both Ishant Sharma and Hardik Pandya were not considered for selection as they are yet to recover from their injuries".
It had no explanation about 32-year-old Shikhar Dhawan's exclusion from the squad which clearly suggests that he has been dropped from the Test team. In all likelihood he will be joining the list of players whose services are limited to white ball cricket.
Shikhar Dhawan made his Test debut in 2013 against Australia with a scintillating innings, scoring 187 at a strike rate of 107.47 which is still remembered as one of the most dominating innings in a debut game. He came into the Test team at a time when India were looking for a player who could fill in the big shoes of Virender Sehwag. And within a few games, he had made that position his very own with a similar style of batting.
But the real test to Dhawan's ability as a Test batsman came when India toured overseas, away from the comfort zone of Asian pitches. Shikhar's nightmarish performances in overseas Test matches have become a norm over the years. He had no answer to the swinging red cherry which he had to face in alien conditions.
Any player's credentials as a Test batsman are measured by their performances in England, where Shikhar Dhawan averages a mediocre 20.29 even after playing 14 innings. It is no better in Australia or South Africa. He averages less than 30 in both the countries with a solitary fifty.
He fared well in New Zealand with a century and a half century to his name in 4 innings. Dhawan though should feel lucky to have received so many games to prove himself even after failing consistently in challenging conditions. He used to compensate for his bad run of form in overseas games with good performances in Asian pitches. Unfortunately this time he is not having that opportunity as well.
With youngsters like Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw in line to conquer the future, Shikhar's Test career looks all but over.