How long will Team India be patient with Shikhar Dhawan?

first_imgShikhar Dhawan, the aggressive left-handed opener, has won a lot of fans in the recent past. The Delhi southpaw has won over innumberable fans thanks to his cover-drives, cut shots and his fancy moustache.But Dhawan has not had enough opportunities lately to twirl his moustache on the field.In spite of his poor form,  Dhawan deserves a chance in the Bengaluru Test. The Delhi batsman will sooner than later twirl his moustache and most of us are hopeful of it.Also read: Virat Kohli elated as Ishant Sharma returns to boost Team India It might even happen in the ongoing four-match Test series against South Africa. His last first-class at the Chinnaswamy Stadium should give him a lot of confidence when India take on the Proteas in the second Test, starting November 14.  At the National Cricket Academy, a few weeks ago, ahead of the limited-over series against the Proteas, Team India was training with the white ball. Dhawan though was seen facing a red ball that was bouncing off a wet pitch. The India ‘A’ skipper had set his eye on the three-day match against Bangladesh ‘A’.Dhawan made best use of the opportunity by scoring a quickfire 150 against the visiting A team. With three sixes and 18 boundaries, the left-handed batsman tamed the Bangladesh bowling line-up in Bengaluru.Dhawan will not be axed from the team in spite of an appalling run in the recently concluded T20 and ODI series and a pair in the Mohali Tesy. He just needs one innings to set things right. Bangalore might prove to be the ideal venue where Dhawan will once again woo his fans and his critics alike. All we have to do is just wait.advertisementWait.. WaitWait, while the other top teams keep amassing runs at the top of the order; wait while they win tours abroad, wait watching our middle order bail us out of trouble.Also read: AB de Villiers threatens to sledge Virat Kohli While this was being written, Australia opener David Warner scored another Test ton, his 10th since 2014. He has been a prolific run getter for his team. His cumulated average since the 2013-14 season has been a staggering 92.565. No other Test opener has scored more than four.With an unbeaten 244 on Firday against New Zealand, Warner got his 10th Test ton since 2014. (Reuters Photo)Touted to be an aggressive opener, Warner has not held himself back but gone there and played his shots. Warner’s free style of cricket has paid him rich dividends and their team and thrashing opponents in a comfortable manner.Don’t forget teams like South Africa and England, who are being benefited by their openers. Hashim Amla (45.09) and Alastair Cook (41.80) who are amongst the runs, have been scoring heaps for their teams.Dhawan, who scored the fastest hundred on debut, has managed to score only at 32.42 runs per match since 2013, which is not international standards by any means.Team India has a lot of woes with one of the two opening slots.While Murali Vijay has been compensating for Dhawan’s failure, banking too much on the Tamil Nadu opener adds pressure. Now, Vijay is expected to hang around, keep the scoreboard ticking, score big every time he goes out to bat, which is  too much of an ask.  If Dhawan’s issue is not addressed, we might soon be losing Mr. Consistent at the other end. Why is Dhawan in the team? Dhawan has shown flashes of form, but they have been only flashes. Dhawan has never in his 16-match career been consistent, which is a prerequisite for Test match openers. After Dhawan arrived on the international scene in 2013 with a fiery 187 against Australia in Mohali, it took five matches for the Delhi batsman to get his next fifty-plus score.Dry spells have been a consistent phenomenon in Dhawan’s career. He has not been to retain his place in the Test squad on merit by any means.Also read: Don’t give a damn about 100 Tests – AB de Villiers How long can the skipper and the selector be patient with an underperforming opener? How long can he let the middle order take all the pressure? If Ravi Shastri and his team wants to climb up the ICC ladder, having Dhawan at the top will be of no help.And there are men, who have proved themselves at the domestic level waiting for a chance. Take the case of Lokesh Rahul, who is hungry for more runs after scoring two tons in Testing conditions from 10 innings. If Dhawan can be given chances, why can’t a 23-year-old, who has been topping the Ranji Trophy batting charts get it?advertisementAlso, there is Dhawan’s one-day opening partner Rohit Sharma warming the benches. He has been in brilliant form and has been India’s main man in the limited over format. How long will the in-form Rohit wait in the queue?Playing Dhawan in Bangalore makes no sense. It should be either Rahul or Rohit in the playing XI at the Chinnaswamy.last_img

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