On September 5th, 2023, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) unveiled the 15-member squad for the ODI World Cup 2023. The selection stirred discussions and raised eyebrows as some players, despite their recent underwhelming performances, earned their spots. One notable absence from the lineup was veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan, who has found himself sidelined from the team since January 2023.
Dhawan’s omission left his fans disappointed, but the seasoned cricketer responded with grace and sportsmanship. In a heartfelt message posted on X, he congratulated his fellow teammates who made the cut for the World Cup squad and wished them success in the upcoming mega event, set to kick off in India on October 5th.
Shikhar Dhawan wrote, “Congratulations to my fellow teammates & friends chosen to represent India in the WC 2023 tournament! With the prayers and support of 1.5 billion people, you carry our hopes and dreams. May you bring the cup back home 🏆 and make us proud! Go all out, Team India! 🇮🇳 #ChakDePhatte #WorldCup.”
Congratulations to my fellow team mates & friends chosen to represent India in the WC 2023 tournament! With the prayers and support of 1.5 billion people, you carry our hopes and dreams.
May you bring the cup back home 🏆 and make us proud! Go all out, Team India! 🇮🇳… https://t.co/WbVmD0Fsl5
— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) September 6, 2023
Shikhar Dhawan has been a consistent performer in multinational ODI tournaments since his return to the national team in 2013. He secured the ‘Golden Bat’ for being the highest run-scorer in consecutive Champions Trophy editions in 2013 (363 runs) and 2017 (338 runs). Additionally, he topped the run charts in the 2018 Asia Cup (342 runs) and was India’s leading run-scorer in the 2014 Asia Cup (192 runs) and the 2015 ODI World Cup (412 runs).
In the 2019 World Cup, Dhawan began with a bang, scoring a remarkable century against Australia (117) in the second game. Unfortunately, his campaign was curtailed by an injury sustained while batting during an innings. Dhawan had also held the position of India’s vice-captain, leading a young team on tours to West Indies and New Zealand in 2022.
However, his recent batting performances, accumulating 688 runs in 22 innings in 2022 at an average of 34.40 and a strike rate of 74.21, fell below expectations and led to his exclusion from the squad. Despite this setback, Dhawan’s grace in acknowledging his teammates’ achievements reflects his sportsmanship and commitment to the Indian cricket team.