Prior to the ODI series against New Zealand, Dinesh Karthik has supported stand-in captain Shikhar Dhawan to play the 2023 World Cup in India. With Shubman Gill’s entry into the set-up as an opener, Karthik feels that Dhawan could easily be replaced, but the team management wants to keep him in the ODI team as well, the only format he is currently playing for Team India.

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However, Shikhar Dhawan will be keen to deliver with the bat against New Zealand after he failed to do well in the recently concluded ODI series against South Africa, scoring only 25 runs in three matches. He, however, has smashed 567 runs in 16 ODIs this year which came at an average of 40.50. The left-handed opener was India’s second-highest run-scorer in West Indies and Zimbabwe. Meanwhile, Karthik lauded his consistency and ability in the ICC tournament.

Speaking to Cricbuzz, Dinesh Karthik said: “From the kind of vibe that I get, he is definitely a starter for the World Cup; otherwise, they wouldn’t be having him around. He’s obviously on the other side of 30. They could easily move on from him. Just the fact that they have him shows that they are very keen about having him in the ODI team and he’s been a gun player in ICC tournaments, somebody who rises to the occasion and he has played at a fair clip consistently.”

He further added: “Even in the 2019 World Cup, he really did well till he got injured. So, he’s somebody you can bank on unless something drastically changes in terms of his form completely falling out.”He is somebody whom you can trust as an opener, knows his game plan, uses his crease very well.”

Shikhar Dhawan, however, loves playing in ICC tournaments, where he scored a hundred against Australia before a thumb injury ruled him out of the 2019 World Cup as well.

Here’s a look at the stats of Shikhar Dhawan in the biggest ICC events:

2019 World Cup – 125 runs in two matches @62.50

2017 Champions Trophy – 338 runs in five matches @67.60

2015 World Cup – 412 runs in eight games @51.5

2013 Champions Trophy – 363 runs in five games @90.75

Shikhar Dhawan will lead PBKS in IPL

Shikhar Dhawan will lead PBKS in IPL.
Shikhar Dhawan will lead PBKS in IPL.

However, Karthik also shared that Shikhar Dhawan will look forward to the opportunity to lead Team India prior to the IPL 2023. It is also noteworthy that, the veteran has replaced Mayank Agarwal as Punjab Kings (PBKS) captain. Dhawan has earlier led Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the cash-rich tournament, with four wins in 11 matches. He will look to guide PBKS to their maiden IPL trophy, which has eluded them for the past 15 years.

On this, he said: “Most importantly, it will be for him another opportunity before the IPL to lead a team and obviously take the team forward and that will be something he’ll be really looking forward to.”

PBKS Current squad: Shikhar Dhawan (capt), Shahrukh Khan, Jonny Bairstow, Prabhsimran Singh, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jitesh Sharma, Raj Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Atharva Taide, Arshdeep Singh, Baltej Singh, Nathan Ellis, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Harpreet Brar.

Players released: Mayank Agarwal, Odean Smith, Vaibhav Arora, Benny Howell, Ishan Porel, Ansh Patel, Prerak Mankad, Sandeep Sharma, Writtick Chatterjee.

Purse remaining prior to the mini-auction: INR 32.2 crore

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