Shikhar Dhawan might have fallen out of race for opening slot in T20Is, reckons Sanjay Manjrekar

Shikhar Dhawan might have fallen out of race for opening slot in T20Is, reckons Sanjay Manjrekar

Ishan Kishan's 32-ball 56 on debut opening the innings has put Shikhar Dhawan's spot in danger in T20Is.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Ishan Kishan’s fiery knock on his T20I debut against England has added him to the opening conundrum of the Indian T20I side. He had replaced Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order who had mustered only four runs off 12 balls in the series opener. Dhawan has been under the scanner for quite some time now in the shortest format and for the same reason, former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar feels that he has fallen out of contention now.

The Indian team was facing some difficulty in closing in their opening slots for the T20I squad ahead of the World Cup. It was a given that vice-captain Rohit Sharma will be picked while one among KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan will partner him. Captain Virat Kohli, ahead of the series, had also said that the team would want to go ahead with the combination of Rahul and Rohit. However, Sharma was rested for the first couple of matches. 

After the openers failed in the first match, the team management decided to hand a debut to Ishan Kishan as the opener in the second game. The move instantly worked out as the left-handed batsman from Jharkhand showed his potential with the bat. His knock of 56 runs off 32 balls, has once again opened up the debate on the opening combination for the T20 World Cup to be played in India later this year.

Ishan Kishan has taken a leap forward: Sanjay Manjrekar

Sanjay Manjrekar, during an interaction, said that Sharma will be back opening the innings. He further noted that Kishan’s innings has allowed him to take a step ahead of Dhawan. The cricketer turned commentator expressed that Dhawan might be in the back seat as far as the opening slot in T20Is is concerned. 

“Rohit Sharma will certainly come back at the top. This (Competiton for places) is good news for Indian cricket, but you can imagine the pressure players must be feeling. They need to deliver in almost every game now. Someone who has taken a backseat in this race(for the opening slot) is Shikhar Dhawan. Ishan Kishan has taken a leap forward. KL Rahul will have to show some form. So it is like musical chairs.” Manjrekar said in a chat with ESPNCricinfo.

KL Rahul, who got two opportunities in this series has not been able to cash in. He was dismissed for 1 in the first match and followed that up with a six-ball duck in the second T20I. Manjrekar expressed that the batsman might be feeling the pressure after these two failures. 

“Something which astonishes me is that a player who seems like a superstar just two weeks back suddenly could be vulnerable. That thing is happening with KL Rahul. He has now seen two failures. If you just go on his last two performances, he must be feeling the pressure.” added Manjrekar.