Shubman Gill’s meteoric rise in ODI cricket in 2023 has solved the dilemma of who should open with Rohit in the upcoming ICC men’s ODI world cup in October-November. India had earlier tried KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan and a few others to slot at the top of the order but none of them gave them the desired result. Gill’s performance since the beginning of 2023 has buried all such concerns.
However, there is another side of the spectrum to Gill’s rise in ODI cricket. What do his performances mean for Shikhar Dhawan? Is it the end of the road for “Mr. ICC” Shikhar Dhawan? Will he get a few chances before the world cup to give tough competition to Shubman Gill?
Well according to many cricket experts, the Indian team management and selectors have already parted ways with Shikhar Dhawan in the ODI format. They believe the Indian selectors’ decision to not pick Dhawan for the home ODI series against Sri Lanka and New Zealand was a clear indication that he is not in their plans anymore.
But Dhawan has no one to blame for his downfall other than himself. His performance in ODIs in 2022 was not instilling confidence among the selectors. Dhawan represented India in 22 ODIs last year in which he aggregated 688 runs at a strike rate of 74.21. He could not score a single century throughout 2022. He scored 6 half-centuries and his highest score was 97. Such a performance from one of India’s top openers was suggestive of the fact that he has passed his prime and the only way forward is to invest in younger players.
Make no mistake but Shikhar Dhawan is still a mighty fine player in white-ball cricket. He has shown this in the last couple of IPL seasons. But it is crystal clear that Shikhar Dhawan will not be seen donning the Indian colors in the ODI format at least in 2023 when India looks serious about winning the World Cup at home the second time.