Wasim Jaffer picks Shikhar Dhawan in the same league as Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan will look to return to form in the upcoming ODI series against New Zealand.

Former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer has labeled stand-in captain Shikhar Dhawan as a crucial player in India’s ODI setup ahead of the 50-over series against New Zealand, which starts in Auckland on Friday (November 25).

The veteran picked him in the same league as Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli owing to their match-winning contributions. He, however, warned Dhawan about his laid-back approach at the start of his innings over the last few games.

Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, Jaffer said:

“2:45 – I think he is a very important player. If you look at Team India’s past performances, Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have made big contributions, and one of these has scored big runs in crucial innings.”

He continued:

“He has 17 One Day hundreds. He knows the format very well. He’s got the captaincy responsibility lately, but I am witnessing him starting his innings with a laid-back approach.”

Dhawan will be looking to come out all guns blazing against the Blackcaps in the upcoming ODI series after he failed to put on a show against South Africa earlier in the year, scoring 25 runs in three innings.

The southpaw, however, has scored 567 runs in 16 games this year at an average of 40.50. He was the second-highest run-getter after Shubman Gill in the ODI series in the West Indies and Zimbabwe.

The 36-year-old is the third-highest run-scorer for India in the current ODI setup.

Virat Kohli – 12,344 runs

Rohit Sharma – 9,376 runs

Shikhar Dhawan – 6,672 runs

“Better suited for this format” – Wasim Jaffer backs Umran Malik in Shikhar Dhawan-led Team India

Jaffer, meanwhile, feels that Jammu and Kashmir speedster Umran Malik is better suited for ODIs as compared to T20Is. He backed him to make his ODI debut against New Zealand on Friday.

“2:20 – I think Umran Malik is better suited for this format compared to T20.”

Malik, who made his name in the IPL owing to his ability to consistently bowl at 150+kmph, didn’t get a chance against New Zealand in the T20Is. He will exploit the conditions to his advantage if given an opportunity.

All in readiness for the #NZvIND ODI series starting tomorrow 💪#TeamIndia

Meanwhile, Shikhar Dhawan will aim to continue his purple patch as captain. He has already helped the Men in Blue register series victories against South Africa (2-1) and West Indies (3-0).

It is worth mentioning that Team India are unbeaten in the last five ODI series, and they will be keen to avenge the 0-3 whitewash that they suffered in New Zealand in 2019.

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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