Shikhar Dhawan returns home ahead of 5th ODI

Shikhar Dhawan returns home ahead of 5th ODI

Team India will take on Sri Lanka in the final ODI of the series at Colombo.

Shikhar Dhawan India
Indian cricketer Shikhar Dhawan. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan instead of joining the team in the final One-Day International of the series against Sri Lanka will fly back home. Dhawan has to return to be with his ailing mother in New Delhi. Thus he will not be a part of the team any further on the tour which also includes the one-off Twenty20 International scheduled to be played on September 6 at Colombo.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in a press release stated that: “Team India opener Mr. Shikhar Dhawan would be leaving for India tomorrow i.e. September 3rd to see his ailing mother. Mr. Dhawan’s mother is stable and is recovering well at the moment,” it read.

“The all-India Senior Selection Committee has decided to stick with the same team and will not name a replacement for Dhawan, and the playing XI will be picked from those available for the 5th ODI as well as the T20I, to be played on September 3 and 6 respectively,” the release stated.

Dhawan since comeback

The left-hander since his comeback to the national team in the Champions Trophy played earlier this year has been in phenomenal form. He has stroked his way to 2 centuries and 4 half centuries in 14 matches accumulating 689 runs at 53. Dhawan has looked comfortable at the crease and played his natural attacking game. The intent to play aggressive shots has helped the team dominate the innings right from the onset.

As far as the Sri Lanka ODI series is concerned, he has been able to maintain the form having clobbered the Lankan bowlers for his 11th ODI century, staying unbeaten on 132. He followed it up with a knock of 49 at Pallekele and has returned with single digit figures in the last two ODIs.

Opening dilemma

The Indian team in Dhawan’s absence has two options for the opening slot. They can either bring in Ajinkya Rahane who hasn’t had a go in the series to open or promote KL Rahul who has clearly struggled in the middle order to open the innings. Rahane is the 4th choice opener for the team and had a great time in the West Indies scoring four consecutive fifty plus scores which included a hundred in the 2nd ODI at Port of Spain.