Before the ODI series against New Zealand, veteran India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik has backed stand-in India captain Shikhar Dhawan to play the 2023 World Cup in India. With Shubman Gill’s rapid rise as an opener, Karthik feels that the veteran left-hander could easily be replaced, but the team management backed him in the ODI setup, the only format he is playing for the side now as well.
However, Dhawan will be keen to play well with the bat against the Kiwis after he failed to leave his mark in the recently concluded ODI series against South Africa, scoring 25 runs in three matches as well. He, however, scored 567 runs in 16 ODIs this year at an average of 40.50.
Speaking to Cricbuzz, Karthik said: “From the kind of vibe that I get, he is definitely a starter for the World Cup; otherwise, they wouldn’t be having him around.”
Karthik has also praised his consistency and ability in the ICC tournament as well.
“He’s obviously on the other side of 30. They could easily move on from him. Just the fact that they have him shows that they are very keen about having him in the ODI team and he’s been a gun player in ICC tournaments, somebody who rises to the occasion and he has played at a fair clip consistently,” he further added.
He continued: “Even in the 2019 World Cup, he really did well till he got injured. So, he’s somebody you can bank on unless something drastically changes in terms of his form completely falling out. He is somebody whom you can trust as an opener, knows his game plan, uses his crease very well.”
However, Shikhar Dhawan loves playing in ICC tournaments, as he scored a century against Australia before a thumb injury ruled him out of the 2019 World Cup as well.
Here’s a look at the stats of Shikhar Dhawan in the biggest ICC events:
2019 World Cup – 125 runs in two matches @62.50
2017 Champions Trophy – 338 runs in five matches @67.60
2015 World Cup – 412 runs in eight games @51.5
2013 Champions Trophy – 363 runs in five games @90.75
Meanwhile, Dinesh Karthik also said that Shikhar Dhawan will look forward to the opportunity to lead the side prior to IPL 2023. The veteran has also replaced Mayank Agarwal as Punjab Kings (PBKS) captain as well.
On this, he stated: “Most importantly, it will be for him another opportunity before the IPL to lead a team and obviously take the team forward and that will be something he’ll be really looking forward to.”
However, Shikhar Dhawan has previously led Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the cash-rich league, with four wins in 11 matches so far as well. He will try to guide PBKS to their maiden IPL trophy, for which they have been waiting for the past 15 years.
PBKS Current squad: Shikhar Dhawan (capt), Shahrukh Khan, Jonny Bairstow, Prabhsimran Singh, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jitesh Sharma, Raj Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Atharva Taide, Arshdeep Singh, Baltej Singh, Nathan Ellis, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Harpreet Brar.
Players released: Mayank Agarwal, Odean Smith, Vaibhav Arora, Benny Howell, Ishan Porel, Ansh Patel, Prerak Mankad, Sandeep Sharma, Writtick Chatterjee.
Purse remaining ahead of mini-auction: INR 32.2 crore