Veteran cricketer Shikhar Dhawan has expressed his surprise and disappointment over being excluded from India’s squad for the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, last year. As the senior men’s team, led by Rohit Sharma, prepared for the ICC ODI World Cup, the BCCI announced a second-string team for the Asian Games. Given that Dhawan wasn’t part of India’s plans for the World Cup, many expected him to lead the team in China. However, the selectors opted for Ruturaj Gaikwad as the captain, sidelining Dhawan.
Having captained India in the absence of Rohit Sharma, Dhawan led the team in 12 ODIs between 2021 and 2022 and in three T20Is in 2021. Despite his leadership role, the emergence of young talents like Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill eventually led to Dhawan’s exclusion from the Indian squad. He last featured in the ODI series against Bangladesh in 2022 before falling out of favor.
In an interview with The Times of India, Dhawan expressed his shock at being omitted from the Asian Games squad and mentioned that he hasn’t had any discussions with the selectors about his future. Despite the setback, he remains grateful for the support and facilities provided by the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in shaping his career.
“When my name was not there (for Asian Games), I was a bit shocked. But, then, I was like they have a different thought process, you just have to accept it. I have not spoken to any selector (about my future). I keep going to NCA. I enjoy my time there. The facilities are great. NCA has shaped my career, and I am grateful for it,” Shikhar Dhawan told TOI.
Was A Bit Shocked, Have Not Spoken To Any Selector: Shikhar Dhawan Opens Up On Asian Games Snubhttps://t.co/NwJpboSN3q
— Times Now Sports (@timesnowsports) January 15, 2024
Shikhar Dhawan’s Test career took a backseat after his last appearance in 2018 against England in London, where he scored 3 & 1 across innings.
“I am not in the Test team for the last 4-5 years. The age factor is also there in every cricketer’s life – a sportsman’s life is different. Since I am not playing Test matches, I will give rest to my body, and stay fresh for the shorter formats of the game,” he added.
Since then, he has focused primarily on the shorter formats of the game. Responding to questions about his Test career, Dhawan emphasized his privilege in representing the Indian Test team and highlighted memorable moments, including his debut in 2013 against Australia. Acknowledging the age factor in a cricketer’s life, Dhawan stated his decision to prioritize rest and freshness for the shorter formats, given his absence from Test matches over the last 4-5 years.