After getting eliminated in the semi-finals of the 2022 T20 World Cup, Team India went ahead in the white-ball series against New Zealand, without the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and KL Rahul. All-rounder Hardik Pandya led the Indian side in the T20Is where rain played spoilsport on multiple occasions and the visitors clinched the series 1-0. However, Team India lost their first match in the ODI series on Friday before the second one got abandoned due to rain on Sunday. In the first match, skipper Shikhar Dhawan played a brilliant knock of 72 runs and stitched a massive 124-run partnership with Shubman Gill.
Veteran India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik lavished praise on Dhawan and stated that he will be a definite choice for the selectors when it comes to the 2023 ODI World Cup.
“I think so. From the kind of vibe I get, he is definitely a starter for the World Cup. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be having him around. He is on the other side of his 30s and they could have easily moved on from him. Just the fact that they have him shows that they are very keen about having him in the ODI team,” Karthik said on Cricbuzz.
“He has been a gun player in ICC tournaments, somebody who rises to the occasion and he plays at a fair clip consistently. Even in the 2019 World Cup, he really did well before getting injured. So, he is somebody you can bank on unless something drastically changes in terms of his form completely falling off,” he added.
Karthik further stated that Dhawan can be trusted as an opening batter as he is well aware of his game plan.
“He is somebody you can trust as an opener as he knows his game plan. He uses the crease really well, he has got everything to play for, and most importantly, it would be another chance for him to lead a team before the IPL and that is something he will be looking forward to,” said Karthik.
Apart from leading Team India, Dhawan has also been appointed as the skipper of Punjab Kings for the 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League.
Coming to the second ODI match, India, sent into bat, were 89 for one with Shubman Gill on 45 and Suryakumar Yadav on 34 when play was called off. The fixture had been reduced to a 29-over match after a first weather disruption halted play for nearly four hours with India on 22-0 after 4.5 overs.
A further eight overs were bowled when play resumed before the rain sent the players back to the pavilion again and no more play was possible.
New Zealand lead the three-match series 1-0 after winning Friday’s opening game in Auckland by seven wickets.
With AFP Inputs
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