Wasim Jaffer believes Team India shouldn’t look past Shikhar Dhawan as an opening option for the upcoming T20 and ODI World Cups just yet. The former batsman feels although Shikhar Dhawan’s contributions to Indian cricket have been brilliant, the southpaw has been overshadowed by the ‘outstanding’ batsmen skipper Virat Kohli and opener Rohit Sharma.
Wasim Jaffer’s comments come against the backdrop of the first India-Sri Lanka ODI which was won by the visitors. Shikhar Dhawan, India’s captain for the game and series, crossed 10,000 runs as an opener across all formats and became the 10th Indian batsman – and second fastest – to surpass 6,000 runs in ODI cricket.
Wasim Jaffer: Shikhar Dhawan Shouldn’t Be Ruled Out Either In 50-over ODIs or T20 Internationals
Lauding the 35-year-old veteran, Wasim Jaffer said in a video on his YouTube channel that Shikhar Dhawan, who is in the shadow of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, should be credited for his performance in white-ball cricket.
“The way the Indian team has come up the ranks in white-ball cricket in the past few years, a lot of credit goes to Shikhar Dhawan as well, even though sometimes his contributions remain in the shadow of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma who are obviously outstanding players.
“But I think we shouldn’t underestimate Shikhar Dhawan and I see him, at least for a year or two, a contender to play in this T20 World Cup and also the 2023 50-over World Cup.”
Wasim Jaffer added that despite there being a host of contenders for the opening spot for the upcoming T20 World Cup, Shikhar Dhawan’s towering IPL performances in the last two years have made him a frontrunner.
“You can’t rule out Shikhar Dhawan for the upcoming T20 World Cup. The way he has performed in the IPL in the past two years… even though we know Rohit Sharma is a surety to open, KL Rahul is a candidate, Virat Kohli said he wants to open, Prithvi Shaw is also coming up as a future contender, there are a lot of options. But Shikhar Dhawan shouldn’t be ruled out either in 50-over or T20 internationals.”
Playing for the Delhi Capitals (DC), Shikhar Dhawan was the second-highest scorer in IPL 2020 with 618 runs at an average of 44.14. He followed it up with a chart-topping 380 runs at 54.29 in the first half of IPL 2021.
Shikhar Dhawan Has More Hundreds Than Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir & Yuvraj Singh, So His Experience Counts: Wasim Jaffer
Wasim Jaffer further highlighted that Shikhar Dhawan’s records – including his 17 ODI hundreds which are more than some greats of Indian cricket – speak for themselves. He said Shikhar Dhawan’s experience at ICC events could also come in handy in the coming years.
“He has 17 hundreds in ODIs. And a surprising stat is that he has more ODI hundreds than Virender Sehwag (15), Gautam Gambhir (11) and even Yuvraj Singh (14)… comparisons aren’t a very good thing to do but the numbers speak for themselves.
“In 140-plus games he has scored over 6400 runs and experience matters a lot. When you got to an ICC event, play at a neutral venue, experience counts.”
Shikhar Dhawan will be in action during India’s second ODI against Sri Lanka. The 35-year-old veteran has scored 2,315 runs in 34 Test matches, 6,063 runs in 143 ODI games, and has amassed 1,673 runs 65 T20I. Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, and Rohit Sharma are the other four Indians to score more than 10,000 runs as an opener in international cricket.
During his match-winning knock of unbeaten 86, Shikhar Dhawan also became the 10th Indian batsman to score 6,000 runs in the 50-over format. Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, MS Dhoni, Mohammed Azharuddin, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, and Virender Sehwag are the nine batsmen who have scored more than 6,000 runs in the ODI format.