11/28/2022
The BCCIs decision to demote Shikhar Dhawan as the captain of Indias ODI side for the tour of Zimbabwe raised several eyebrows and many questioned the board for treating a senior player badly as KL Rahul was appointed the skipper of the side at the eleventh hour

Dhawan, who usually leads the India ODI team in the absence of Rohit Sharma, was named captain for the three-match ODI tour of Zimbabwe in August but once Rahul was declared fit and available, the former national selection committee took the responsibility from Dhawan. But Dhawan has revealed that he has faith in God’s plans and claimed that he wasn’t hurt by the move.

Dhawan – who is back as the stand-in ODI captain on the tour of New Zealand – said, “I wasn’t hurt as I believe certain things are pre-destined and whatever happens is for our own good.”

“And if you look at it, after Zimbabwe, I again captained against SA at home and the same selection committee handed me the leadership reins. So I am not at all hurt by what transpired in Zimbabwe. There must be something good hidden somewhere (in God’s design),” the veteran opener added further.

The seasoned campaigner Dhawan was recently appointed the captain of the Punjab Kings side for the IPL 2023 season as the franchise released Mayank Agarwal.

The left-handed batter believes in counting his blessings and it is because of that he is getting a chance to lead the national team in the twilight phase of his career. “I am very fortunate that at this juncture of my career, I have got a chance to lead India,” he said.

He also explained how he rationalised Rahul’s elevation in Zimbabwe and he was kept as his deputy. “Look in Zimbabwe, KL was made the captain because he is the vice-captain of the main team. And since he was going to Asia Cup (after that series) and in case Rohit got injured over there (in UAE) and Rahul had to captain, it was better that he captained in Zimbabwe and remained ready on the leadership front.

“So I thought from that perspective that was the right thing to do,” Dhawan said.

‘Can’t take my place for granted even now’

A veteran of 161 ODIs in which he has scored 6672 runs, Dhawan, who will turn 37 on December 5, knows that the margin for error is minimal as far as he is concerned. He feels that playing just one format helps him maintain a work-life balance and stays fresh for international challenges.

“It totally depends on individuals. I count it as a blessing that I play one format and it gives me time to pursue other interests. I stay more fresh and much stronger compared to what I was when I played three formats,” he said.

He knows that there will be a logjam in the top order when Rohit and Rahul come back and along with him, Shubman Gill, who is in great form, will also be a contender for the opening slot.

“We now have lots of players across three formats representing India and it’s a good thing. Playing one format has its own challenges also but I make sure that I keep myself in the groove and don’t lag behind others. I have to match the pace of the team. Otherwise, it won’t be right,” the Delhi cricketer said.

Dhawan makes one of the most formidable opening pairs in the current era in 50-over cricket and he would like to keep up the good work alongside the regular captain. “We guys have been performing well and have been a successful pair. But I have to keep performing and can’t take anything for granted till I am playing. And that keeps me on my toes,” he added further.