Shikhar Dhawan’s exclusion left former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer disappointed, who otherwise believes India has picked a formidable squad for the 2021 T20I World Cup. Despite Ravichandran Ashwin’s comeback and the inclusion of leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, a couple of big names like Shikhar Dhawan and Yuzvendra Chahal went missing from India’s squad of 15 for the ICC event.
The announcement of India’s T20 World Cup squad by the BCCI selectors on Wednesday packed a few surprises. Against everyone’s expectations, India recalled spinner Ravichandran Ashwin back to its limited-overs fold after four years, while former captain MS Dhoni was appointed mentor of the side.
Shikhar Dhawan’s Omission Surprised And Disappointed Farokh Engineer
There was no place for either opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan or spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, which sparked a debate. While Shikhar Dhawan is expected to have missed out to KL Rahul, Yuzvendra Chahal fell behind fellow leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, who bowled wonderfully in Sri Lanka and has been growing in reputation. So while both exclusions were notable, Shikhar Dhawan’s axe despite being in form disappointed Farokh Engineer.
“I haven’t exactly studied it. I only heard it once. But it seems that all the top players are there. Suryakumar Yadav is in the squad, which I am really happy to see. Chahar is a very good bowler, and there is Bumrah of course. I think with Ravindra Jadeja and Rohit Sharma, the balance of the team is good. I think we’ve got a good squad,” Engineer told Sports Tak.
“Shikhar Dhawan… well, I’m surprised that he has been omitted because he has come in and done fantastically well. But that is such a huge problem for the Indian selectors that players such as Dhawan are getting to be dropped, which is a huge disappointment because he would walk into any international team as a batsman. He has proved himself time and again and I don’t think a player of his caliber should be on trial.”
The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Prithvi Shaw, and Yuzvendra Chahal were some notable omissions. Shikhar Dhawan has been one of India’s most consistent players in the ICC tournaments and the selectors’ decision to not name him even among the reserves left many surprised.
While it hasn’t yet been revealed as to why the southpaw didn’t make the cut for the T20 World Cup, a report has claimed that the decision was taken keeping in mind his ‘conservative approach’ while batting. Shikhar Dhawan was a part of the Indian team that toured Sri Lanka, playing all 6 matches on the tour. He registered scores of 86*, 29, 13 in the 3 ODIs and 46, 40, 0 in the 3 T20Is.
Farokh Engineer: India Can Win T20I World Cup
Having said that, Farokh Engineer reckons the strength of the Indian team is such that the selectors couldn’t have helped it. The former wicketkeeper feels India is spoilt for choices as far as the opening batsmen are concerned, provided how brilliant KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma have been lately.
“But who do you drop? KL Rahul has done very well. He is superb; one of the best batsmen in the world, I think. Rohit Sharma is on top of his form. Still, I think it’s a very good team they have picked and I think we have every chance of winning the T20 World Cup,” Engineer added.
Ravichandran Ashwin made a comeback after playing his last T20I in 2017. Delhi Capitals’ batsman Shikhar Dhawan is currently the highest run-getter in the IPL 2021 season with 380 runs in 8 matches averaging 54.28 with 3 fifties. He was 2nd among leading run-scorers in IPL 2020 too after KL Rahul with 618 runs in 16 matches averaging 44.14 with 2 tons and 4 fifties.
Full squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami; Stand-by: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur