‘Rahul Dravid took the tough call of excluding Shikhar Dhawan for India vs South Africa T20Is’: BCCI official

Shikhar Dhawan’s return to the Indian T20I lineup for the South Africa series sparked a lot of speculation, given regulars Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma were expected to be rested in order to prepare and go to England early for the postponed fifth Test match. Dhawan also had the statistics on his side. For the seventh year in a row, the left-hander has scored over 450 runs in the IPL. In fact, Dhawan has been so successful at the top of the order for any team that his 460 runs in 14 matches in the IPL 2022 were his lowest in six years. During each IPL season, he usually scores more than 500 runs.

 

According to reports, the left-hander was in line to be named captain of the side for the five-match T20 series against South Africa, but the selectors’ decision to keep KL Rahul in the squad may have changed the scheme of things, as the right-hander was given command of the 18-member India squad sans Dhawan.

 

According to a senior BCCI official, it was head coach Rahul Dravid’s choice to go beyond Dhawan, and the selectors agreed. According to the person, the former India captain told Dhawan of his non-selection before the selectors convened on Sunday.

 

“For nearly a decade, Shikhar Dhawan has been a terrific servant of Indian cricket. In T20s, though, you must provide opportunities to young players who have been doing well. We all agreed that Rahul had to make the difficult decision. Before the selection was named on Sunday, Rahul informed Shikhar,” a top BCCI source told InsideSport.IN.

 

Dhawan’s absence from the Indian squad with less than five months till the T20 World Cup in Australia this year was a clear indicator that the left-hander is now not in the team management’s plans for the showcase tournament.

 

Apart from the absence of Dhawan, there were no significant shocks in the Indian selection for the South Africa series. Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik, both young pacers, got their first India call-ups after their outstanding performances in the IPL, while Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, and Dinesh Karthik returned to the Indian team.