Analysing Shikhar Dhawan loss to India : India vs NZ

Analysing Shikhar Dhawan loss to India : India vs NZ

India vs NZ : The news of Shikhar Dhawan being out of the World Cup must have sent shock waves through the spine of Indian management. If you were to have a glance beyond his hundred against Australia, Shikhar was the winner of Golden Bat award in 2013, 2017 Champions Trophy and being India’s leading run scorer in the 2015 edition of the World Cup. He is even fastest ever to notch up 1000 runs in ICC Tournaments overtaking Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. Those runs were a catalyst for India’s brilliance with the bat in all three tournaments.

Though twitteratis thinks it’s comfortable swapping Rishabh Pant for Dhawan in upcoming India vs NZ match. KL Rahul may bat up the order. However, in-depth look at numbers shows it to be a big void impossible to fill. In the analysis of Indian Team, we gauged the role of top-3 going into the World Cup.

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Shikhar Dhawan mind-numbing ICC records

At the moment, Shikhar Dhawan is one century behind all-time leading centuries maker in ICC Tournament (Shikhar has six centuries while Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly have seven each) and the fact that it has come in less number of ICC events shows how Shikhar ups his game when it comes to ICC events and also leads the runs when it comes to current Indian batting lineup that includes talisman Virat Kohli.

Gabbar-Hitman at the top of the mark

It’s not just individual brilliance but left-right hand combination of Gabbar-Hitman with 4681 runs in 103 innings with 16 centuries only five century behind great Sachin-Sourav pair who scored 6609 runs in 136 innings. Their partnership has been the critical ingredient to India’s success in ODI cricket. In fact, against AUSTRALIA the couple broke flurries of record on its way to record the first opening century stand in World Cup by any team against Australia and also took seven fewer innings to go past run scored by West Indies great Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes (1152 runs) making them most successful opening pair against Australia. Also considering the World Cup and Champions Trophy – the two flagship events in ODI cricket, only Gilchrist-Hayden with 1539 have scored more runs than Dhawan-Rohit (1335). Dhawan-Rohit averages close to 70.

Openers, main reason for winning Tournaments

Also, the three tournaments the duo have partnered India has reached at the semi-final on all three occasions while winning once in 2013 and coming out second best in 2017 edition of Champions Trophy.When openers fell cheaply in the Champions Trophy 2017, we saw disaster that could await if either of them don’t deliver along as they expose Virat and rest of the team to line of firing from the bowlers.India cannot chase anything above 300 if two of top three don’t fire.

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Match-winner Shikhar

No doubt we have no.1, and 2 ranked ODI batsman in the team. However, when Shikhar scores runs he makes sure INDIA wins those match. His 15 centuries out of 17 have resulted in wins while in two matches India lost narrowly.

Shikhar against New Zealand, Pakistan

His ODI numbers put him in line of finest ODI players in the World, and his glories in ICC Tournament paves his name in elite players.

Let us analyse his record against Kiwis and Pakistan, which is in India’s next line of attack. Against Kiwis, India didn’t have any match in 50 overs ICC Tournament since 2011 World Cup. However, his 32.72 average in 12 innings with best of 75*agianst Kiwis does not prove to be quite impressive. Now with Pakistan, an average of 54 in 7 innings with one hundred and 73 against Pakistan in opening match of 2015 World Cup sets the tone for rest of the tournament. Had Virat not cost Dhawan wicket with runout he could have been India’s first-century maker in the last edition of World Cup.

Are the replacement upto the mark?

His likely replacement KL Rahul has played 16 ODIs, and Rishabh Pant has 5 ODI outings. Both playing their first ICC Tournament. Do they have accolades of Shikhar Dhawan in high-pressure situations? Certainly not. They could prove themselves with a good outing in a few matches and have the talent do big things for Indian cricket later, but perhaps time is ripe for Dhawan to show a final flash of his brilliance in ICC Tournament. After all, Indian team has the most prolific top three since CWC 2015. But does both KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant have the big match temperament to calm the nerves especially in the semis or final? That cannot be testified as of now. Shikhar also not to forget is one of the experienced men in the team after MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma.

Should India replace Dhawan?

Given how Shikhar played with an injury, even after hit shows his threshold of pain is undoubtedly high. If it is a hairline fracture or straight finger fracture it could take 15-20 days. In that case, India should be keep Dhawan in a team; he could get one or two matches (Sri Lanka, Bangladesh) before all-important semis. While MSD could bat up the order at no.4 with Rahul opening and Jadeja/ Vijay Shankar coming at no.6 or 7 depending on conditions. Team management seems to have lost faith in Vijay Shankar abilities at no.4, and the best choice will be to let the experienced man take ownership while Dhawan rehabs.

Read: Can New Zealand defeat India?

Title: Analysing Shikhar Dhawan loss to India : India vs NZ

Saurebh Gandle

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