Time Running Out For Dhawan As Gaikwad, Iyer Stomp Authority
India hasn't played an ODI since July and neither has Shikhar Dhawan but still, the star opener is fighting for his place in the national side. The catch is, he's losing the spot one innings a
India hasn't played an ODI since July and neither has Shikhar Dhawan but still, the star opener is fighting for his place in the national side. The catch is, he's losing the spot one innings at a time as young guns Ruturaj Gaikwad and Venkatesh Iyer have come out of ranks to knock doors.
Gaikwad is having a magical year or so, ever since he has become a regular opener for his IPL franchise, Chennai Super Kings. His sublime form not only helped CSK benefit but his career too has gone upwards. He made his T20I debut in July against Sri Lanka, where Dhawan was leading the side.
Gaikwad continued his brilliant touch in the IPL's second leg and only missed his chance in the T20 World Cup squad and T20I series against New Zealand. However, he went back to domestic only to prove his level has gone above it.
In the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy, Gaikwad has smashed three consecutive hundreds and is averaging 207 in three matches while opening the innings for Maharashtra.
Ruturaj Gaikwad !!— CRICKETNMORE (@cricketnmore) December 11, 2021
.#Cricket #IndianCricket #TeamIndia #RuturajGaikwad pic.twitter.com/ZvHRFnb8fA
Just like Ruturaj, Venkatesh Iyer too had a breakout IPL season in 2021. He played his first match in September for Kolkata Knight Riders and within three weeks, he was being compared to Hardik Pandya and as a replacement for him in the T20 World Cup.
Iyer spent a few days in Indian camp ahead of the T20 World Cup and flew back. He was picked for the New Zealand series where he was given a new role - finisher playing at number 5,6, or 7. He had a decent series to give an idea.
Back with Madhya Pradesh, Iyer was asked to play in the lower middle-order positions and he has obliged after smashing two centuries playing at number four and five. He scored 112 off 84 vs Kerala, 71 off 49 vs Uttarakhand, and 151 off 113 vs Chandigarh.
What An Innings By Venkatesh Iyer!!— CRICKETNMORE (@cricketnmore) December 12, 2021
.#Cricket #IndianCricket #TeamIndia #VijayHazareTrophy #VHT21 #IPL #KKR #VenkateshIyer pic.twitter.com/N5FoL10G4J
Meanwhile, Dhawan is struggling to make a mark. He has scored 0, 12, 14, and 18 so far for Delhi after having a mediocre second half of the IPL 2021 where he averaged 25. He wasn't picked in the T20 World Cup squad and New Zealand series.
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If Dhawan's poor run continues, there is a good chance of him not making it into the ODI squad for the South Africa tour, since Ruturaj Gaikwad and Prithvi Shaw are strong contenders for that spot. Venkatesh Iyer is almost confirmed to be on the flight to South Africa.