Former Indian goalkeeper Saba Karim believes that Shikhar Dhawan should only be used if the Indian team management believes that 275–300 is the even score for them. He claims that Dhawan is not the type of player who can make significant contributions at a 130-140 strike rate.
Ishan Kishan’s two hundred in the latest One-Day International against Bangladesh on Saturday, which India won by 227 runs, added a new twist to the discussion of India’s opening position in the 50+ format. India scored 409/ 8 in 50 overs while batting first, with 210 (131) runs off Ishan’s bat.
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During a Sony Sports discussion, Saba Karim was asked if he envisions Dhawan playing 50+ cricket in the future, to which he replied:
“It will be up to the management of the team to decide what kind of cricket they want to play.” If the team management still believes that 275-300 is their goal, then Shikhar Dhawan is the player to have.”
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Saba Karim believes that the experienced opener does not deserve a place in the starting XI if India are to score more than 325. He expanded:
“It’s a different story that I haven’t scored a run in this series. But if you give him another chance and tell him that we only need to score 275-300, Shikhar Dhawan’s place will be secured until the World Cup. But if we’ve decided our even score would be 325-350, Dhawan is out.”
“We have a lot to achieve”: Saba Karim
Saba Karim also made a bold claim about Dhawan’s strike rate, claiming that maintaining 130-140 speed is not his game. Saba Karim also recommended that the management look into other options for Dhawan, naming a few other than Ishan.
“So a lot will depend on the selectors and the direction of the team, the captain, that expectation you have. If you expect Shikhar Dhawan to make a big hit at a 130-140 strike rate in a 350-run game, it’s not going to happen.”
“I feel that in the coming times, we have to achieve a lot. I feel we are two or three years behind in white ball cricket and to get there we will need new players, players like Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Prithvi Shaw. added Saba Karim.
Kishan’s belligerent jab on Saturday will no doubt make it difficult for Dhawan to keep his place in India’s ODI squad.
Also Read: IND vs BAN: Team India for Bangladesh Trials
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