‘Rahul Dravid took the tough call of excluding Shikhar Dhawan for India vs South Africa T20Is’

Written by Sumit Seth

There was a lot of talk around Shikhar Dhawan’s comeback to the Indian T20I side for the South Africa series as regulars Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma were supposed to be rested in order to prepare and fly to England early to play the cancelled fifth Test match. Dhawan had the numbers to back him too. The left-hander notched up more than 450 runs in a season for the 7th year in a row in the IPL. In fact, Dhawan has been that good at the top of the order for any franchise that he has represented that his IPL 2022 tally of 460 runs in 14 matches was his lowest in 6 years. He mostly ends up scoring more than 500 runs in an IPL season.

The left-hander was in line along with Hardik Pandya to be appointed captain of the side for the five-match T20 series but the selectors’ decision to keep KL Rahul in the squad perhaps changed the scheme of things as the right-hander was given the charge of the 18-member India squad sans Dhawan to take on South Africa.

A top BCCI official, however, revealed that it was head coach Rahul Dravid’s decision to look beyond Dhawan and the selectors agreed to it. The former India captain had also informed Dhawan about his non-selection before the selectors met on Sunday, said the official.

“Shikhar has been a great servant of Indian cricket for over a decade. But in T20s, you have to give chances to youngsters who have been doing well. Rahul had to make the tough call and we all agreed. Shikhar was informed by Rahul before the team was announced on Sunday,” a senior BCCI official said.

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Sumit Seth