With India starting decently in the first test on this crucial tour of England, there were questions about why Shikhar Dhawan was excluded from the series despite his remarkable record in England.
Some say it was the injury, while some call it fitness issues but we all witnessed Dhawan batting in all the games on the tour of Sri Lanka, didn't we? So now that he's not expected to feature in England this series, Cricwizz presents to you five reasons why Shikhar Dhawan should be considered for test cricket.
1) Imposing Test Record
Shikhar Dhawan has played 34 tests for India. His abilities as a batsman are undoubted but even in test matches specifically, Dhawan has done a fine job. Scoring 2315 runs with an average of 40.61 and a strike rate of 66.95. With Dhawan on the crease, one thing was assured that the runs kept flowing.
He has five 50s and seven tons, with 190 being his highest. This shows that he possesses the potential to bat for longer durations without any lapses. His record especially away from him is even better, something not many Indian batsmen have managed. Out of 34 tests, Dhawan has played 23 away from home.
Let's have a look at his numbers.
His five out of seven tons have come away, and also his highest score was away from India. His record in New Zealand is also good, while he has struggled in England and South Africa.
The main point being if Dhawan gets more chances, we can see him bat better as he's done over the years, and a continuous run of games could give us a different side of Dhawan.
2) Ability to turn up in big games
Shikhar Dhawan has often been doubted on his consistency and whether he could turn up in the ICC tournaments. But the fact of the matter is that Dhawan has often proved his doubters wrong by performing astonishingly in the ICC events.
He had gained a huge recognition for showcasing his true talent in ICC event matches, His record specifically at the Oval is exceptional. He has scored three tons and a fifty, amassing 443 runs in five innings.
Shikhar Dhawan, who celebrates his birthday today, has a glowing record at ICC events 🙌— ICC (@ICC) December 5, 2020
In 27 matches across the @cricketworldcup, Champions Trophy and @T20WorldCup, he has scored 1312 runs at 50.46, including six tons 💯
He also topped the 2004 U19 #CWC charts with 505 runs! pic.twitter.com/jGZgjachXi
Spectacular, isn't it?
It began from the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy that Dhawan stepped up his game. It was an all-around performance as India not only won the ICC 2013 Champions Trophy but Shikhar Dhawan and Ravindra Jadeja ended up with the most runs (363) and most wickets (12) awards in the tournament respectively.
Dhawan was also adjudged as the Player of the Tournament. A man who has often turned up on big occasions deserves a consistent run of games in a format he has shown to have potential, doesn't he?
3) Left-hand Right-hand combination
Test match is not just about physical or mental strength but it is also about tactics. One of the most followed tactics over the years has been a side opening with a combination of one right-handed and a left-handed batsman.
In today's scenario, we have also witnessed that several teams have stopped following it as they believe more in their batsmen, but you cannot deny that two differently oriented batsmen do contrive to shuffle a bowler's rhythm.
India have multiple options to open alongside Rohit Sharma who seems to have cemented his spot on the test side but his partner always keeps shuffling, be it Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, or KL Rahul.
If Shikhar Dhawan is roped in, he is not only a more experienced batsman than the rest but he is also good enough and more proven compared to the others. On top of this, his chemistry with Rohit Sharma is already known to the world as the duo are India's first-choice opening pairs in the limited-overs format.
4) Sound technique
Shikhar Dhawan is a fine player of swing and that is why we barely witnessed Dhawan changing his batting position in international cricket after a couple of times he did in the IPL decades ago.
Dhawan is also a brilliant player of spin and he looks to dominate them very easily too. He can defend them, he can hit them out of the park, there won't be any shortages of classical strokes as well.
5) Ability to bat long
Test Cricket is about the runs and also how long can you stay on the crease and frustrate your adversaries. Well, Shikhar Dhawan also has this trait in his locker. A player who loves scoring can also frustrate the bowlers by showing his defensive attributes.
The fact that he can play both swing and spin very well, that itself shows that batting for longer durations isn't a problem for him.
Apart from the mentioned factors, Dhawan is brilliant on the field too. Surviving five days won't be difficult for him, especially with the kind of energy and enthusiasm he brings to the team.
What do you think? How many test matches will Dhawan play in his career? Should he be picked immediately? Or his time is up now considering so many prospects eyeing his position? Let us know your thoughts via your social media accounts.
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