The All-India Senior Selection Committee announced a 18-member squad for the upcoming five T20Is against South Africa. While Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik made a comeback to the team, senior batter Shikhar Dhawan was unlucky to not make the cut.
Incidentally, with Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma not available for the T20Is, many backed Dhawan to make it to the squad. Incidentally, the southpaw has been in good form in the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
While there were reports that Shikhar Dhawan might lead the side against the Proteas, India head coach Rahul Dravid took the difficult call to take a look at the youngsters. The former India captain had also informed Dhawan about his non-selection before the selectors met on Sunday, said the official.
“Shikhar has been a great servant of Indian cricket for over a decade. But in T20s, you have to give chances to youngsters who have been doing well. Rahul had to make the tough call and we all agreed. Shikhar was informed by Rahul before the team was announced on Sunday,” a senior BCCI official told InsideSport.IN.
Shikhar Dhawan has consistently belted runs for Punjab Kings (PBKS), scoring 460 runs in 14 matches. The southpaw notched up more than 450 runs in a season for the 7th year in a row in the IPL.
With only a few months to go for the T20 World Cup scheduled to take place in Australia, this will be a major dent in Dhawan’s hopes of making it to the squad.
Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh earn maiden India call
Young fast bowler from Jammu and Kashmir Umran Malik, who has been one of the finds of IPL 2022, made it to the international setup for the first time after an impressive season for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. He picked up 21 wickets in 13 fixtures so far and often clocking speeds in excess of 150 kmph.
Arshdeep Singh who was excellent in the death overs for the Punjab Kings has been provided with an opportunity and his left arm angle could be an added luxury.
The five-match T20I series between India and South Africa will commence on June 9 in Delhi.