Shikhar Dhawan must be the happiest member in the Indian squad that is set to play a three match Test series against Sri Lanka starting from July 26 in Galle.
Firstly, inclusion in Indian test squad as a replacement of injured regular opener Murali Vijay and now a place in playing eleven with unfit KL Rahul ruled out of first test.
Dhawan, with his poor performances in recent past could not find a place in the initial 16 member Indian Test squad selected for the Sri Lanka tour. Later, he replaced the injured Murali Vijay, who has not recovered completely from a wrist injury he sustained during Australiaa��s tour of India earlier this year. Murali Vijay had played vital role in Indiaa��s long home season of 13 Tests.
It was observed that despite Dhawana��s selection in place of Vijay, Abhinav Mukund will be first choice for the opening slot along with regular opener KL Rahul in the playing eleven as he was selected as third opener ahead of Dhawan in the initial 16 member squad. Interestingly, KL Rahul made way for Dhawan in playing eleven of the first Test as he is down with viral fever and will be unavailable for the selection. This definitely produces golden opportunity for southpaw to score some runs and cement his place in Indian Test team.
Dhawan’s Test Career
It has been roller-coaster ride for Dhawan in his short Test cricket career. With ups and downs, he has played 23 Tests so far managing to score 1464 with an ordinary batting average of 38.52. The aggressive left hand opener had suffered a thumb injury in October during Test series against New Zealand that ruled him out of third and final test match of that series. He was then left out of the one off Test against Bangladesh and five-match series against Australia due to his poor showings.
Recently, he has been scoring consistently for India in limited overs. He emerged as highest run scorer in Champions Trophy 2017 where he hammered 338 runs from 5 matches with an average of 67.60. He has had good outing at Galle when he visited this venue last time in 2015 where he scored century in first inning of the Test match.
It would be interesting to see how Shikhar Dhawan takes advantage of this opportunity