Senior India batter Shikhar Dhawan was a “bit shocked” at his exclusion from India’s Asian Games squad but remains determined to make a national comeback in the near future. With the first-choice players busy with preparation for the ODI World Cup at home, the BCCI named a squad full of youngsters for the Hangzhou Asian Games in September-October.
The 37-year-old left-hander was tipped to lead the second-string India team in China, a role he performed until 10 months ago, but the selectors did not pick him and named Ruturaj Gaikwad as captain.
“When my name was not there (for Asian Games), I was a bit shocked. But, then, I was like they have a different thought process, you just have to accept it. Happy that Rutu (Gaikwad) will lead the side. All the young boys are there, I am sure they will do well,” Dhawan told PTI on Thursday.
With Shubman Gill joining Rohit Sharma at the top, it seems the Indian team has moved on from Dhawan, who had become a one-format player until he was dropped from the ODI side following the Bangladesh tour in December 2022.
The ever-optimistic Dhawan, who has been among India’s leading ODI batters over the past decade, said he can’t foresee what is in store for him but will be ready if an opportunity knocks on the door.
“I will be ready, of course (for the comeback). That is why I keep myself fit (so whenever I get a chance I am ready). There is always a chance whether it is one percent or 20 percent.
“I still enjoy training and I still enjoy the game, these are the things in my control. Whatever decision is made, I respect that,” said the southpaw who remains a centrally-contracted cricketer and spends a lot of time at the National Cricket Academy.
If the India comeback doesn’t happen, Dhawan has an IPL trophy to win for Punjab Kings. He also expressed his keenness to play in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy and 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy before the IPL.
“I have not spoken to any selector (about my future). I keep going to NCA. I enjoy my time there, the facilities are great. NCA has shaped my career and I am grateful for it.
“Also I have to prepare for the IPL. I will be playing the Syed Mushtaq Ali and, hopefully, the Vijay Hazare as well,” he said referring to the two domestic tournaments.
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