R Sridhar praised the veteran Indian batsman.

Last update: 01 August 2022, 20:18 IST

Former Indian fielding coach R Sridhar (PTI photo)

Sridhar feels the veteran batsman has been a key asset for Team India in recent times.

Shikhar Dhawan will captain the Indian team for the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe. Dhawan led the squad to a 3-0 whitewash against the West Indies in ODIs. Apart from his leadership qualities, Dhawan also showed a brilliant batting performance against the West Indies. Former India fielding coach R Sridhar spoke candidly about Dhawan’s impressive performance against the Caribbean opposition. Sridhar feels that Dhawan has been a key asset for Team India in recent times.

“About Dhawan, he has been invaluable to Indian cricket for the last eight or nine years, especially in the white-ball format. He has been a huge failure for both Rohit and Virat. Both of them have been phenomenal at the top. And Dhawan has got a huge role to play as a left-hander. He has carved a niche for himself as a reliable opening batsman. His fitness is probably better than it was a few years ago. Understands the game better too,” Sridhar told Cricket.com.

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Sridhar feels that the Indian team management in the 50-over format will not look beyond Dhawan until the 2023 World Cup. Although, according to Sridhar, Dhawan is considered a back-up option in T20Is.

Dhawan recently returned to the ODI squad but his last T20I appearance was last year. Dhawan’s last T20I match was against Sri Lanka in July 2021. They were in good touch in the IPL 2022 season. The Punjab Kings opener scored 460 runs in 14 matches. He scored three fifties in the 15th season of IPL.

Dhawan played a brilliant innings of 97 runs against the West Indies in the opening ODI match. In the final match, he scored a half-century as Team India won the series comfortably by 119 runs.

In total, the 36-year-old batsman has scored 6493 runs at an average of 45.40. Dhawan has represented India 155 times in ODIs and has 17 centuries and 37 fifties to his name. In T20Is, he has scored 1759 runs at a strike rate of 126.36. Dhawan has 11 fifties in the shortest format of the game.

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