Shikhar Dhawan has evolved tremendously as a T20 batsman and the results have been quite evident over the last few years. Usually known for providing the role of an anchor as an opener, Dhawan has put serious efforts to up the ante in the shortest format of the sport.
Over the last 35 matches he leads the IPL runs tally and has amassed 1367 runs at an average of 45.56. His strike rate of 141.95 is only bettered by the magnificent AB De Villiers among the top 10 run-scorers.
Despite this, Dhawan is far from a regular choice when it comes to the Indian T20 squad for the upcoming World Cup. Dhawan was benched for the last four T20 matches against England in March and it seems that he will face stiff competition for the opening slot.
The T20I series against Sri Lanka could prove to be massively important for Dhawan as it will give him a chance to demonstrate his consistency away from the IPL. He has featured in only 15 of the last 28 T20I matches played by India where his numbers have been underwhelming.
“It is very important. Of course, any international match has its own impact, and whenever you perform internationally it makes a huge impact,” Dhawan said.
“So on a personal note, I’m really looking forward to perform over here and make my place more stronger for World Cup contendership. Then we’ll see how it goes in the future.”
This time around, he will also be the captain of the side as he leads the young Indian troops to battle in Sri Lanka with the senior squad preparing for the five-match Test series against England in England. India have already won the ODI series against Sri Lanka and might also try new combinations during the T20I series.
“We have to win the series. In the last ODI, there was a good opportunity to give some youngsters a chance and give them a taste of international cricket, because we had already won the series,” Dhawan said. “We’ll of course go in with our best XI first. We’ll try to win the first two matches, and then according to the situation, we can experiment in the last game, if needed.
“If we win two matches, then we have options to play any combination we want to. Otherwise, our main goal is to play the best XI to win the series. That’s our first priority. After that, if we can seal it like we did in the ODIs, we can think of experimenting,” concluded Dhawan.