Shikhar Dhawan is one of India’s most reliable batters in white-ball cricket. The southpaw has an envious record in ICC tournaments, as well as a magnificent average of 45.28 in his ODI career.
While Shikhar Dhawan has achieved a lot in his international career, he has never had an opportunity to lead the Indian cricket team. However, that could soon change, as reports suggest Dhawan is one of the candidates to lead a second-string Indian squad on the Sri Lankan tour in July.
Along with Dhawan, Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are the captaincy options available to the selection committee for the Sri Lankan series.
The selectors will conduct further discussions before finalizing the Indian squad for the Sri Lankan tour. Here are three reasons why Shikhar Dhawan should be assigned the captaincy.
1. Shikhar Dhawan has captained in the IPL
Shikhar Dhawan is one of the few batters to have amassed over 5,000 runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The left-handed opener was the leading run-scorer in IPL 2021 before the BCCI postponed the tournament indefinitely.
Dhawan has played as a specialist batter for the Delhi Capitals. However, in the past, he served as the Sunrisers Hyderabad’s captain. In IPL 2014, the Sunrisers played ten matches under Shikhar Dhawan’s captaincy, recording four wins, including one against defending champions Mumbai Indians.
Having led a team in a tournament like the IPL, Dhawan has experienced the pressure of captaincy. Hence, he should be the number one choice to lead Team India on the Sri Lankan tour.
2. Most experienced option available
As mentioned ahead, there is a three-way race between Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya for the captaincy. If one looks at the number of ODI matches the three players have played, Dhawan emerges as the most experienced of the trio.
Kumar has represented Team India in 117 ODIs, whereas Hardik has donned the Indian jersey 60 times in ODIs. Meanwhile, Shikhar Dhawan has been a part of the Indian playing XI in 142 ODI matches. He also made his ODI debut two years before Bhuvneshwar and six years before Hardik received his maiden ODI cap.
Experience has always been a vital factor in deciding a team’s captain. Since Dhawan has the most experience here, he should be the preferred choice.
3. His current form and record in Sri Lanka, both are exceptional
In IPL 2021, Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were not at their best. While Hardik managed 52 runs in seven games, Kumar scalped three wickets in five matches. Meanwhile, Shikhar Dhawan amassed 380 runs in eight matches and was in the form of his life.
When one compares the numbers of all three players in ODIs on Sri Lankan soil, Shikhar Dhawan comes out as the player with the best stats. He has scored 190 runs in four ODIs in Sri Lanka at a superb strike rate of 127.52. Interestingly, Dhawan’s strike rate is below 105 in all other nations where he has played ODI cricket.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has five wickets in four ODIs in Sri Lanka, but all five came in a single match. Hardik Pandya has four wickets and 19 runs to his name in four ODIs on Sri Lankan soil.
The ability of a captain to lead from the front gives the team the best chance of performing well. Shikhar Dhawan deserves to be India’s captain thanks to his excellent form and stellar record.