Renowned expert Aakash Chopra believes India dropping Shikhar Dhawan from the ODI side would be ‘grossly unfair’, and is of the opinion that the southpaw should continue to be a part of the 50-over set-up given India have not played too many ODIs in the past year.
Dhawan had a horror Vijay Hazare Trophy, averaging 11.20, owing to which calls to drop him from the ODI side got louder. The fact that Ruturaj Gaikwad scored 4 hundreds in 5 appearances did not help the 36-year-old’s case either.
However, Chopra reckons that Dhawan’s record speaks for himself and hence should be retained, particularly given his recent showings in 50-over cricket (average of 59.40 in 2021) have been excellent.
“12, 8 (18), 14, 12 and 0 - that's his last five scores in a high-scoring Vijay Hazare Trophy. Should you select him? I think he should be. Dhawan is India's proven customer. He has done phenomenally well in One-Day cricket. He is the Mr ICC. If we look at 2023 World Cup -- if he stays fit -- why not?” Chopra said on his official YouTube channel.
“India haven't played much ODI cricket in 2021, so why drop him? Some people had insisted that he should've even been selected in the T20 World Cup. Just because Ruturaj is scoring runs, or Iyer can open, or the Rohit-Rahul pair is set.. I think dropping him would be grossly unfair.”
Given Dhawan is 36, there have been calls to move on from him and blood-in youngsters. In the case of a transition, Chopra believes the selectors should make it clear to the 36-year-old that he is being overlooked due to their keenness to look ahead into the future.
“If he plays badly, you drop him. But if someone's doing better, and then you drop him -- that's not fair. If you're dropping a proven Indian player on a few domestic performances, that would be very unfair. I think he should be in the tour of South Africa.
“If India is looking at a transition at some stage, please have a word with him. Communication is important -- especially when you're fading out a senior player. Do let them know, take them in confidence,” said Chopra.