Amid some fresh faces and noteworthy returns to the Indian team for the impending five-match T20I series against South Africa, the squad announcement for the home series also witnessed some notable omissions and shock exclusions. And former chairman of selectors MSK Prasad was particularly disappointed with one of those few exclusions, admitted that the India star “has definitely missed the bus”.
Shikhar Dhawan was one of the biggest absentees from the 18-member T20I squad that was announced on Sunday. Despite the veteran opener’s consistent show at the Indian Premier League (IPL) last season he was dropped from the T20 World Cup team last year and even while he made a India comeback in the ODI series in South Africa and against West Indies at home, he was not considered for the contest against the Proteas which will get underway next month.
Speaking to NDTV, Prasad felt that Dhawan could have been a perfect choice for the Indian team for the T20 World Cup in Australia where he has performed well throughout and has been a “proven customer in ICC tournaments”.
“I thought they will consider Shikhar because if you’re looking at T20 World Cup, we’re going to have it in Australia. It will be all hard and bouncy tracks, where Shikhar is a proven customer. Shikhar is also a proven customer in ICC tournaments. So somewhere I felt that maybe they could have given him an opportunity in this series before completely overlooking him,” he said.
“I personally felt that they should have tried him in this series. If they were not happy with him, they could have gone ahead. Maybe because Ishan Kishan and other guys have played the (2021 T20) World Cup, they are sticking on with them rather than trying out somebody else, I have a feeling like that. But I think Shikhar has definitely missed the bus. But they should have tried him this series. If they were still not happy with him, they should have gone past him,” he added.
Veteran India cricketer Suresh Raina spoke on similar lines, opining that if 36-year-old Dinesh Karthik can be brought back to the Indian team, so can Dhawan.
“Obviously, Shikhar would have been disappointed. Every captain wants a player like him in the team. He is fun loving person who brightens up the environment. And he has always scored runs – be it domestic, international or T20. If you’ve brought Dinesh Karthik back in the team, Shikhar Dhawan deserved a place too. He has performed runs the last 3-4 years and has scored runs non-stop. Somewhere deep down, he must be sad,” Raina had said on the Cricket Live show on Star Sports.