Shikhar Dhawan made his most appearances last year, playing in 22 of India’s 24 ODIs. He served as a captain in nine of them, one more time than Rohit Sharma’s regular captaincy and twice more than vice-captain KL Rahul at the time. The opening left-handed player is no longer even a member of the ODI squad by 2023. For the home game against New Zealand, he was not started. Was Dhawan back then so bad? He ran 688 times at an average of 34 in 2022, which isn’t bad but is below his career average of 44.11. He also fell short of scoring a century.

Given that Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli didn’t participate in the majority of the 24 ODIs, he may have been given a longer leash. While focusing on the T20 World Cup, India was controlling their workload. Dhawan was unable to make the Indian ODI XI till the dynamic duo was back in the lineup and Shubman Gill continued his run-scoring spree in ODIs. After losing his status in the Test and T20I squads, it seems that the team management has moved on from him even in ODIs.

This in no way lessens the inspiration Dhawan has been for India, however. He surpassed Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma as India’s most dependable white-ball hitter for more than a decade. His and Rohit’s opening combination was among the finest in cricket history.

Dhawan’s teammate and all-rounder for India, Ravichandran Ashwin, hailed the veteran player and stated that for a very long time, he has been performing admirably under Kohli and Rohit’s shadow.

“Only when the Top 3 failed did we previously have problems. Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli. Dhawan is a constant even though Rohit and Kohli get a lot of attention. He was doing his tasks in silence. Will Team India have a significant gap to fill without him?” Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.

Additionally, Dhawan’s case has been disproven by the success of Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan. Both Kishan and Gill have scored double hundreds in ODIs in recent months.

In his discussion on the level of competition at the top of the order, Ashwin emphasized the importance of impact players.