India opener Shikhar Dhawan will lead Delhi in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) 2020-21. India’s domestic Twenty20 (T20) tournament starts on January 10 and will see Ishant Sharma make his return to competitive cricket. Delhi have named a 42-member squad for the tournament.
Ishant Sharma was forced to miss the Australia tour due to a side strain he suffered during the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year. According to reports, the Indian fast bowler will only be available for some of the SMAT matches. The 32-year-old had recently undergone rehab at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.
Ishant Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan were both part of Delhi Capitals during the IPL 2020. While Ishant’s tournament came to a premature end due to an inconvenient injury, Dhawan went on to become one of the successes of the tournament. He struck two centuries in the IPL 2020 and was DC’s highest run-getter in the campaign where they finished runners-up for the first time.
Delhi gets the Shikhar Dhawan boost
Dhawan also played a key role in India’s T20I series win in Australia, slamming a crucial fifty in the second match at Sydney.
After making his T20 debut for Delhi in 2007, Shikhar Dhawan has played 279 matches in the shortest format, scoring 7,993 runs at an average of 32.26 and a strike rate of 125.1. Making his debut in the same game as a teenager alongside Dhawan, Ishant, who is more renowned for his red-ball exploits, has 106 T20 wickets from 134 matches at an economy rate of 7.8.
India’s Under-19 World Cup-winning captain Unmukt Chand, Nitish Rana, Pawan Suyal, and Manan Sharma are among other players who have been picked to play for Delhi in the SMAT this season.
The players are to report to chief coach Rajkumar Sharma and coach Gursharan Singh.
Delhi have one SMAT title under their belt, having won the tournament final against Rajasthan at the Eden Gardens in the 2017-18 season. It was veteran pacer Pradeep Sangwan who led them to the title, bagging the Player of the Match award in the final.Published 26 Dec 2020, 21:48 IST