Despite Shikhar Dhawan’s stellar performance in the IPL 2021, Ajit Agarkar believes the southpaw will struggle to gain a spot in India’s playing XI for the forthcoming T20 World Cup. KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, according to Agarkar, are India’s first-choice openers in T20Is right now.
Shikhar Dhawan will captain India in the forthcoming limited-overs series against Sri Lanka, which begins on July 18.
Shikhar Dhawan’s outstanding performance in the first half of the IPL has convinced Agarkar that the left-handed batsman hasn’t done anything wrong recently. However, the former Indian all-rounder clarified that the Delhi Capitals (DC) star is still not India’s first-choice opening option in Twenty20 Internationals.
In response to a question from the Hindustan Times during a virtual interaction facilitated by Sony Sports, Agarkar said:
“I believe he will have to put up numbers, particularly in T20Is. In the IPL, I don’t think he’s doing anything illegal. He is now trailed by Rohit and KL Rahul. Rahul had a rather ordinary series against England, but his white-ball form has been excellent.
High intensity and fully focused! Great first day of training in Sri Lanka 💪 pic.twitter.com/CFRewfCnoE— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) July 2, 2021
Agarkar went on to say that Shikhar Dhawan might replace KL Rahul in India’s World Cup team if the left-hander performs well with the bat in the forthcoming three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka. He continued, saying:
“You almost felt that those two (Rohit and Rahul) had passed Shikhar, but he keeps getting runs, putting pressure on the likes of KL Rahul.” There is no debate about Rohit’s position in the team; he is the vice-captain in white-ball cricket. But you can surely put pressure on Rahul, and to do so, you must score runs, which is exactly what Shikhar needs to do to reclaim his spot in the XI.”
“I don’t think Shikhar Dhawan will benefit from captaincy.” Ajit Agarkar’s formal name is Ajit Agarkar.
Ready for the big tour 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/OoYDfs6NNI— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) June 27, 2021
Being given captaincy duties demonstrates the selectors’ and team management’s faith in a certain player. However, Ajit Agarkar believes Shikhar Dhawan will only be able to establish his case for a spot in India’s playing XI at the upcoming T20 World Cup by scoring large runs against Sri Lanka, as the captaincy role will be meaningless. The former all-rounder elaborated:
“I don’t believe the captaincy will make a difference. Even if India wins this series 6-0, I don’t think it will make a difference in his batting position. The runs will be crucial.”
In preparation for the upcoming limited-overs series against Sri Lanka, Team India has been playing intrasquad games. After cases of COVID-19 were discovered within the hosts’ camp, the series had to be rescheduled.