After a lot of speculations, the 15-man Indian squad for ICC Champions Trophy 2017 was finally announced on Monday (May 8) by the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) selection panel.
Leaving behind the ongoing tussle with the ICC over the new revenue model, the BCCI named the squad which will be led by Virat Kohli in the eight-team tournament starting from June 1 in England. Earlier reports had suggested that the selectors had given the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League a miss as they were not to keen to select the team on the basis of the players’ performance in the T20 tournament. And so it was very much clear that the selectors were not going to spring many surprises but one spot that had garnered everyone’s attention was the opening spot.
With KL Rahul ruled out of the tournament owing to a shoulder injury, there were speculations that in-form Gautam Gambhir would get the nod ahead of Shikhar Dhawan to open the innings alongside Rohit Sharma. With 425 runs, the Kolkata Knight Riders skipper is currently the third highest run-getter in the tournament. On the other hand, Dhawan has also managed to be among runs, scoring 388 runs in 11 outings. However, he is yet to show the usual flair in his batting and there were suggestions from several quarters that Gambhir should make it to the squad.
However, the selectors have pinned their hopes on Dhawan. The Delhi-born batsman had an indifferent 2016 with the bat where he was dropped from the team on more than one occasion. After being omitted from the Test series against England last year, he was handed a chance to get back into the scheme of things during the ODI series against England. However, he completely failed to justify his selection as he scored 1 and 11 in the first two games before being dropped for the final match.
The inclusion is undoubtedly a big boost for Dhawan and the left-handed batsman took to Twitter to express his excitement.
“Excited to be part of squad for the #ChampionsTrophy2017 Lets go defend the title boys. @BCCI,” the 31-year old tweeted.
— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) May 8, 2017
Dhawan would be keen to justify the faith shown in him by once again doing well in the tournament. He was one of India’s best performers when the Men in Blue lifted the trophy four years ago in England. With 363 runs in 5 matches with the help of two centuries and 1 half-century, Dhawan finished the tournament as its leading run-scorer.
However, the fans are not very much impressed on Dhawan’s selection and took to Twitter to take a dig at the opening batsman. Here are some of the reactions:
The selection process is not change. Shikhar Dhawan he is struggling he should tk tips from David Dhawan's upcoming film Batsman no 1
— VINOD KAMBLI (@vinodkambli349) May 8, 2017
Failure like shikhar dhawan is in team but a champion like gambhir is out of it ….great going selectors..#ChampionsTrophy2017
— chandrabhan singh ch (@Chandrabhansc) May 8, 2017
Sometimes I wonder is there any reservation SC/ST quota for Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan? #justathought
— Aisharya Dutta (@imaisharya) May 8, 2017
Meanwhile, India will begin the title-defence against arch-rivals Pakistan on June 4.