Aakash Chopra feels that India’s captain for the Sri Lanka series, Shikhar Dhawan, would be disappointed with his performances in the T20I series. According to Chopra, Dhawan missed a chance to strengthen his case for a spot in the T20 World Cup.
Dhawan scored 46 and 40 in the first two T20Is before falling for a duck in the deciding T20I on Thursday. Playing with a weakened XI after COVID-19 hit the camp, India ended up losing the series 1-2.
Admitting that Dhawan can still stake a claim for a place in the T20 World Cup with the IPL coming up, Chopra said on his YouTube channel:
“I am sure Shikhar Dhawan would be a little disappointed. I would not say that his performance was that determining factor with regards to whether or not he would be in the T20 World Cup squad. The IPL is still to come and one cannot judge Dhawan on the basis of three T20I matches. But he could definitely have strengthened his case for the T20 World Cup by scoring more runs. Shikhar Dhawan would be gutted. And he got out (for a duck) in the deciding match.”
The former Indian opener also felt that youngsters like Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal and Nitish Rana missed out on a great opportunity to make a mark at the international level. Speaking about them, he stated:
“Ruturaj Gaikwad looked good in the two innings he played but got out before he could convert the starts. Devdutt Padikkal looked completely out of sorts in the third T20I. He was out lbw and then run out as well. It just showed that he felt he pressure. Nitish Rana played one ODI and two T20Is but couldn’t score many. It was definitely an opportunity missed.”
"We wanted to win as well, in every game you learn" - Shikhar Dhawan
Speaking after losing the three-match T20I series, Dhawan asserted that they were keen to win despite not having a proper XI to play with due to the COVID situation. Admitting that things were tough in the last two games, Dhawan praised his boys and said:
“It was a difficult situation for us. As a team we decided to stay and play these games. Really proud of the boys as well. They showed great character in the last two games. Their attitude was tremendous. We wanted to win as well, in every game you learn. It was an off-day for our batting unit. We lost too many wickets, SL bowled well. When you lose early wickets, you get a lot of pressure, glad that we got to the 80s, that's all we managed today (Thursday).”
Batting first after winning the toss in the third T20I, India crawled to 81 for 8 in their 20 overs. Sri Lanka got home by seven wickets, easing past the target in 14.3 overs.