Golden opportunity for Rishi Dhawan to make an impression: Team India is clearly in search of a good bowling all-rounder who would be ideal to bat at No 7 in the batting order.
Ravindra Jadeja, Stuart Binny et al have been tried and tested. They have delivered at times but have not shown consistency. Maybe it’s time to look beyond and blood in a youngster, who might, in times to come, could be a permanent solution.
Possibly with this idea in mind, the selectors’ have gone ahead and picked up the 25-year old, Rishi Dhawan, in the ODI squad that has just left for Australia to play a series of five ODIs and three T20s.
Rishi has had a reasonably good domestic season this year. In Ranji Trophy 2015-16, representing Himachal Pradesh, he has featured in 8 matches. Batting in 9 innings, remaining unbeaten on 2 occasions, he has scored a total of 307 runs at an average of 43.85 with 114 as his individual best. He also has a century and two half-centuries to his credit.
Bowling in 12 innings, Dhawan has picked up 28 wickets, giving away 33.1 runs per wicket. He has been economical to the extent of giving away 927 runs in 304.1 overs bowled (3.07 per over). Dhawan has struck and picked up a wicket after every 65.1 deliveries. His best bowling performance has been 6/108 in an innings and 8/166 in a match.
In the shorter format, playing in 7 matches (7 innings – remaining unbeaten on 4 occasions) in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2015, Rishi has scored 302 runs at an average of 100.67 with 117* as his personal best. He also has a century and a half-century to his credit.
In the bowling front, he has picked up 9 wickets at an average of 37.0 with 3/46 as his best. He has an economy rate of 5.98 and has picked up a wicket after every 37.1 deliveries.
Rishi was the leading wicket taker in Ranji Trophy 2013-14 season, with 49 wickets from 16 innings. Contributing with the bat, he had scored 435 runs at an average of 39.54 with 89 as is best. He was given the Madhavrao Scindia Award for his performance.
In the 2014-15 season Rishi had picked up 40 wickets from 13 innings. He also contributed with the bat scoring at an average of 57.40 in 9 innings.
Dhawan who is an integral part of Himachal Pradesh batting and bowling, has been consistent over a period of time. The BCCI selectors have also done their bit by including him in the 15-member ODI squad for the Australia tour.
Hopefully, the youngster would get an opportunity or two to show case his talent in the international arena so that he can become an integral part of Team India dressing room in times to come.