The BCCI sprung some surprises on Wednesday when the board picked the 15-man Team India squad for the T20 World Cup in the Middle East from next month and one of the biggest exclusions among the batsmen was opener Shikhar Dhawan, who fell down the pecking order to young southpaw Ishan Kishan.
Former BCCI chief selector MSK Prasad on Thursday said that given the form Dhawan was in recently, he thought that the experienced opener “had an opportunity”. The T20 World Cup will take place in UAE and Oman from October 17.
“It’s a well-balanced squad but maybe Shikhar is the one guy who might be missing out,” MSK said.
“Given the form he was in recently, I think he had an opportunity. Nevertheless, it is still a good side given Ishan Kishan (will) be utilised as a floater and deserves his place but somewhere I felt Shikhar also could have been squeezed in as he has been doing well in bigger tournaments.”
The 46-year-old retired wicket-keeper, who served as the chief national selector from 2016 to 2020, was also delighted with the decision to include MS Dhoni in the squad as team’s mentor with head coach Ravi Shastri as MSK felt the former India captain knows everyone in the team.
“Selecting MS Dhoni as a mentor is a wonderful decision; his addition will add value to the team management because Mahi will gel well with everybody,” he said.
MSK was also in the favour of the spinners picked for the World T20 in Ravichandran Ashwin, Rahul Chahar, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy and Ravindra Jadeja. He particularly pointed out that picking an experienced Ashwin and in-form Chahar were the right decision over Yuzvendra Chahal, whose recent form raises doubts.
“Ashwin’s experience and that too playing in Asian conditions will definitely add value to the side. Ashwin has been in good form over the last couple of IPL. Especially during the last IPL in Dubai he did really well. With another leg of IPL in Dubai right before the World Cup will definitely help, his experience will add strength to the spin department.