Why Shikhar Dhawan’s T20I Career might be at stake in the West Indies series
Shikhar Dhawan has been considered as a part of the Indian cricket team’s 'Big Three' in the limited overs format. But if one looks at his records and performances closely, especially in comparison with the other two - Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma - it becomes obvious that he is not really a big force when it comes to T20I cricket.
In the 40 T20 International matches that he has played, he has scored 977 runs at an average of about 26. This pales in comparison with the T20I records of the other two members of the big three.
Both Virat and Rohit have scored heavily in T20 matches for India. Virat has scored 2102 runs in 62 matches and averages a staggering 48.8, whereas Rohit has scored 2086 runs at an average of almost 33. They both have excellent strike rates of 136 and 137, respectively.
In contrast, Shikhar has scored 977 runs in 40 matches with an average of 26.4, and his strike rate of 130 is lower than those of Virat and Rohit.
It is not just the lack of runs, a further proof of how far he is behind his two illustrious peers in India’s batting line-up can be gauged from his relative lack of impact on the results of T20I matches and series.
In the 62 matches that Kohli has played, he has won an amazing ten Man of the Match and five Man of the Series awards. Rohit has won seven Man of the Match and one Man of the Series awards.
But in the 40 matches that he has played, Shikhar has managed to win only three Man of the Match awards and not a single Man of the Series award. For someone considered to be an impact player for India, this lack of impact, especially in the T20 format is a cause of concern.
Though there is still a lot of time before the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup, there is no harm in starting the preparation for the same. In fact, by dropping the incomparable MS Dhoni from India’s T20 squad, the selectors have already started looking ahead.
Keeping in mind Dhawan’s average, if not mediocre, performances for India’s T20 team generally, and his poor run of form in the just concluded ODI series specifically, his performance in the upcoming T20 series against West Indies will be under scrutiny.
He needs to pull his socks up quickly, and make a serious impact on this series. Otherwise, he maybe the next one in line after MSD - on his way out from India’s T20 set up.