Time to Close the Test Door on Shikhar Dhawan?

Picture: AP






The five-match collection in England was Shikhar Dhawan’s alternative to enhance his mediocre document exterior Asia in Take a look at cricket and show his critics mistaken, however with scores of 26, 13, 35, 44, 23, 17, Three and 1, the opener has achieved nothing however harm his repute even additional.India arrived in Birmingham for the primary Take a look at with the opening mixture of Murali Vijay and Dhawan. Three video games later, each had already been dropped as soon as earlier than Vijay was handed a ticket again house with selectors choosing 18-year-old Prithvi Shaw for the ultimate two matches. Dhawan by some means managed to maintain his place within the XI with a few useful cameos at Trent Bridge however made no impression within the final two video games. Now it will not come as an enormous shock if the axe lastly falls on the left-hander with India set to host Windies subsequent month earlier than going Down Below later this 12 months.

Dhawan is an entertainer and is somebody who likes to dictate phrases when he’s within the center. The identical mindset and strategy that has made him a profitable commodity in limited-overs cricket has been his Achilles Heel is the longest format of the sport, particularly exterior the subcontinent.

The 32-year-old solely managed 162 runs in eight outings in England at 20.25. Not like few of the opposite batsmen within the collection, Dhawan always acquired begins however not as soon as went onto to transform it into one thing substantial. The flashy drives, well-timed flicks, muscular pulls… they have been all there as Dhawan seemed fairly good each time he got here out to bat. But it surely was his want for extra and lack of persistence that led to his downfall on virtually each event.

(Reuters) (Reuters)

It began at Edgbaston the place he went for pointless drive in each the innings and ended up edging it behind the stumps. He, together with KL Rahul, then had two fifty-plus partnerships in Nottingham that performed a key position in India’s 203-run victory. Regardless of an honest effort, Dhawan’s method and persistence have been simply exploited by the English bowlers. He averages 61 in Asia the place the ball would not speak a lot. One would not all the time have to cowl the road of the ball whereas defending or get near the supply whereas taking part in a shot, and that is principally how Dhawan operates.

Whereas it was fairly seen that Dhawan was making efforts of taking part in near the physique however his unending behavior of poking at full-length deliveries exterior off did not cease. The story was no totally different in Southampton… failed to regulate his instincts, performed nothing shot, and ended up inducing an edge in each innings. By the point he got here to the Oval India had already misplaced the collection 3-1. There have been no nicks this time round as Dhawan was caught proper in entrance of the stumps by incoming deliveries from Stuart Broad and James Anderson respectively. The plans have been fairly easy, bowl few size deliveries after which throw in a fullish one, sufficient to tempt Dhawan to go for a drive. Or else, a few outswingers was adopted by an inswinger that might expose Dhawan’s defence.

This isn’t the primary time Dhawan has struggled in seaming situations. In South Africa, he solely performed the primary Take a look at of the three-match collection and was dropped from the remaining two. Those that have watched Dhawan bat will know that his batting methodology, method and mindset are suited to ODIs and T20Is greater than to Checks. Whereas Dhawan’s document in limited-overs format in England, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand is great, the identical cannot be stated as soon as he dons the whites.

Dhawan averages 20.28 in England, 27.83 in Australia, 18 in South Africa and 34.50 in West Indies. He averages simply 26.82 exterior Asia which is 56.3 % lower than what he averages within the subcontinent. Even his balls per dismissal charge exterior Asia is 46.88 compared to 81.04 within the subcontinent. He additionally has a second worst common (25.80) by an Asian opener in SENA international locations (South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia). That is additionally largely as a result of his knocks of 115 and 98 in New Zealand in 2014 the place he did properly within the two-match collection. In whole, he simply has Three fifty-plus scores exterior Asia in Take a look at cricket.

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He’ll flip 33 this December and isn’t getting any youthful. Rahul is simply 26 and has acquired age on his aspect, plus it is probably and comprehensible that selectors will keep on with him no less than for some time. In the meantime, Shaw has already been introduced into the Take a look at aspect and is being seemed as a future prospect. India are scheduled to journey to Australia and Shaw has the sport type which will probably be extra appropriate in these situations. Then there’s Mayank Agarwal who has been amassing runs and breaking information at first-class degree for over a 12 months now. The Karnataka batsman has already achieved greater than sufficient to earn a nationwide call-up and it will not be too lengthy earlier than selectors are pressured to take action. India are set to play two Checks towards Windies which is able to present them an opportunity to check the likes of Shaw and Agarwal forward of the Australian tour.

If ‘as soon as once more’ given a chance towards Windies in house situations, Dhawan would possibly do properly and can in all probability be on flight to Australia, however will it’s truthful on somebody like Agarwal, and even Vijay who has been one among India’s most trusted abroad batsmen. With the inclusion of Shaw, it is fairly clear that selectors have began searching for choices and it could be the top of street for Dhawan, the Take a look at batsman. Or possibly, it is all hype!




First Printed: September 11, 2018, 5:35 PM IST


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