Ahead of the T20I series against West Indies, opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out owing to a knee injury that he suffered during the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019-20. Kerala batsman Sanju Samson has been named his replacement. Dhawan suffered a knee injury during Delhi’s Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019-20 clash versus Maharastra. A final call regarding his availability will be taken soon.
The BCCI release says: ‘The BCCI Medical Team assessed him on Tuesday to review the healing of his wound. The BCCI Medical Team has suggested that Dhawan needs some more time for his stitches to come off and his wound to heal completely’.
India’s squad for 3 T20Is: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (VC), KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sanju Samson
Samson’s exclusion from the initial squad did raise several eyebrows. Thiruvananthpuram MP, Shashi Tharoor questioned the move and it also supported by Harbhajan Singh. This injury could not have come at a more inopportune time for Dhawan, who has been struggling to find momentum and establish himself as an opener in the shortest format.
“See I have certain roles in the T20I side. Have been practising hard in trying to perform that. Hopefully, by the time T20 world cup comes, everything falls into place,” he told Hindustan Times last month. “I don’t think there are issues in T20Is. If you observe, I have been scoring well in the last few matches against South Africa and Bangladesh. Yes, I was a bit slow in the Delhi T20I. But that’s because I tried to bat differently because of the pitch. I know, 50 off 43 balls would have been a lot better than the 40 odd I got but yeah, I learnt.”
With 20-odd games to go for T20 World Cup next year, Dhawan made it clear that the team is in process of build-up but also exerts that India have every chance of bringing the cup home from Australia. “We’ve got one year. Whatever we have to plan we are planning it now and then only we can reach the final combination. I’m confident that this time we’ll come back with the cup.”