Shikhar Dhawan’s ‘Man of the Series’ performance in India’s triumphant Asia Cup 2018 campaign didn’t help him when the MSK Prasad led selection panel sat down to pick the Test squad for West Indies series. Considering Dhawan’s poor outing in red-ball cricket during the recently concluded England tour, the southpaw was dropped from the national Test squad.
Although Dhawan boasts an outstanding Test average in Asia (61 in 16 Tests with 6 centuries), he averages a mere 26 in 18 Tests outside the subcontinent. With India touring Australia for a four-match Test series later this year, the selection committee had no choice but to take this difficult call.
So is this the end of the road for Shikhar Dhawan in Test cricket? Certainly not if you by the statement of chief selector, MSK Prasad.
“It is really surprising that a batsman who can rule in white-ball cricket finds it difficult to replicate the same in red-ball cricket. He is a treat to watch in any format of the game. Unfortunately, we had to take this tough decision after giving him considerable opportunities. At the same time, we can say that if Shikhar is willing to put in the hard yards required for the longer format, the gates are definitely open for him,” Prasad was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Meanwhile, Prithvi Shaw and Hanuma Vihari have been retained in the squad for the two-Test series against Windies whereas the domestic run-machine Mayank Agarwal also received his maiden call-up.
While Rajkot will host the first Test between India and West Indies from October 4, the second Test will be played in Hyderabad from October 12.
India squad for the West Indies Test series:
Virat Kohli (captain), KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur