IND vs SA 2022: India’s Head Coach Rahul Dravid made a tough call ahead of the squad selection for the South Africa T20I series. Shikhar Dhawan who was expected to lead the side against South Africa didn’t find a place in the T20I squad as Dravid has preferred youngsters in place of Shikhar Dhawan.
Ahead of the BCCI team selection meeting on Sunday, Rahul Dravid, selectors & Rohit Sharma discussed the potential candidates for the South Africa T20I series. Rahul Dravid informed the selectors in the presence of BCCI Secretary Jay Shah that the team should move on and look at youngsters with the T20 World Cup on the horizon.
Rahul Dravid said that he would inform Shikhar about their decision personally instead of selectors. Dravid personally called Dhawan informing him that he will have to lose his place in the Playing XI as the team is looking ahead to give chances to the youngsters instead of him.
“Shikhar has been a great servant of Indian cricket for over a decade. But in the T20s, you have to give chances to youngsters who have been doing well. Rahul had to make the tough call and we all agreed. Shikhar was informed by Rahul before the team was announced on Sunday,” a senior BCCI official told InsideSport.IN.
Only age is one factor that is not in Shikhar’s favor otherwise he has done everything to be included in India’s T20I squad. He is the only batsman in IPL to score 400+ runs for seven consecutive seasons. He has maintained a healthy strike rate of 125+. Shikhar Dhawan is also Punjab’s leading run-scorer in the IPL 2022 after scoring 460 runs in 14 matches. He has blasted three half-centuries and has managed a decent strike rate of 122.67. In 2021 also he was one of the leading run-scorer in the IPL 2021. However, all these factors couldn’t help Shikhar bag a place in South Africa’s T20I squad.
“The plan has been simple. When you have Ruturaj, Ishan, and KL besides Sanju amongst many other top-order batters, it gets difficult. Rahul has a clear idea of what he wants. Of course, we all have respect for Shikhar and that is why he made a call to inform him that, he will not be in T20 plans anymore,” the BCCI official said.
Rahul Dravid previously has taken those tough decisions when he excluded Wriddhiman Saha from India’s test series against Sri Lanka, informing him that he will not feature in his Test plans. While Saha did not take it lightly and revealed the details of the conversation to the public, Dhawan is not one of them.
“It had to come sooner or later. What Rahul did was gutsy. It is difficult to say no to a player who has been scoring runs constantly. But it’s important to make the call. Shikhar will remain in ODI plans with the World Cup coming up next year,” the official said.
IND vs SA 2022: India’s squad
KL Rahul (c), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (vc, wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik