Asian Games 2023
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Sri Lanka Tour Of India 2023: Why BCCI Dropped Shikhar Dhawan And Rishabh Pant For The Series? The BCCI selection committee led by Chetan Sharma announced the squad for the upcoming ODI and T20 series against Sri Lanka. India will host Sri Lanka for 3 match T20 series, followed by 3 match ODI series. With the ICC Men’s 50-over world cup all set to take place in India later next year, the series against Sri Lanka will start the marathon chain of ODI matches in the coming months.

The selection committee announced the squad for both T20 and ODI series against neighboring Sri Lanka. A couple of decisions have been debatable. The selectors have omitted Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant from both the ODI and T20 squads. Especially the axing of Shikhar Dhawan is a clear indication that the selectors are now looking beyond him.

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Shikhar Dhawan’s International Career Almost Over

Shikhar Dhawan, over the years, led the Indian team in the absence of star players such as Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and KL Rahul. He was the captain in a few series, having a reasonably good performance.

2022 was a great year for Dhawan in the ODI format, as he scored 688 runs in 22 innings, emerging as the second-highest run-getter, surpassing the likes of KL Rahul, and Rohit Sharma. But, his 3 single-digit scores against Bangladesh and the double century from Ishan Kishan proved to be fatal for Shikhar Dhawan.

It’s not that this is the first time any talented player is shown the exit door. There have been instances when players like Sanju Samson, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, etc were sidelined from the team after just a few bad outings.

The main reason which can be interpreted from this is the mindset of BCCI promoting young talents and ignoring experienced players, who have performed consistently. This mindset has led the team down quite a few times and if the same trend continues, we may continue to see the Indian team failing to win ICC events.

Shikhar Dhawan has been a prolific batter for India in all formats. In 167 ODI matches, he accumulated 6793 runs at an average of 44.1 and a strike rate of more than 90. This includes 17 centuries and 39 half-centuries. Dhawan made his captaincy debut in the ODI format later last year.

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In 9 ODI matches, he captained the side, winning 7 and losing 2. He won the series 2-1 against Sri Lanka in the debut ODI series. He later guided India to a series win against West Indies and South Africa. But, it seems with his outset, doors are now almost closed for the 37-year-old.

Pant Dropped Or Rested?

The biggest surprise which came out after the announcement of the squad was the omission of Rishabh Pant from both the ODI and T20 teams. According to the PTI report, BCCI has asked him to report to NCA for a two-week knee strengthening program. However, some reports also suggest that Pant is dropped from the side, due to his inconsistent performance.

Rishabh Pant is no doubt a far better red ball batter than the limited-over format. He was the highest run-scorer in the test format in 2022. But, Pant has not repeated the same performance in the ODI and T20. He has scored only 364 runs in 21 T20 innings this year.

His stats in ODI is even poor, as the southpaw managed to score only 321 runs in 10 innings, which also includes a (125*) against England. So, his exclusion from the team due to poor form cannot be denied.

Team India’s ODI Squad Against Sri Lanka:

Rohit Sharma (Captain), Hardik Pandya (Vice Captain), Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (Wicket Keeper), Ishan Kishan (Wicket Keeper), Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh.

Team India’s T20 Squad Against Sri Lanka:

Hardik Pandya (Captain), Suryakumar Yadav (Vice Captain), Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Washington Sundar, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson (wk), Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik, Shivam Mavi, Mukesh Kumar.