Sanju Samson, the most likely replacement for the injured Shikhar Dhawan for the New Zealand tour.
Team India’s first-choice opener, Shikhar Dhawan suffered a serious shoulder injury in the third ODI. Reports have now confirmed that Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of the T20I series against New Zealand; due for a start on January 24.
While this is certainly not good news for the Indian fans, it definitely opens up a potential replacement option for many aspirants out there. Considering KL Rahul would be expected to open in place of Shikhar Dhawan, the replacement need not be a like-for-like replacement.
So, who can be a potential replacement for the dashing South Paw from Delhi? Let’s look at the three possible replacements for Shikhar Dhawan for the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand.
#1: Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson seems the best bet to replace the injured, Shikhar Dhawan for the T20I series against New Zealand. The lad was with the T20I team in the last series against Sri Lanka, and even played the last T20I. However, the return of Rohit Sharma at the top meant Sanju Samson had to be left out of the squad.
Now that Shikhar Dhawan is injured, Sanju Samson should straight away draft himself in the team as his replacement. In fact, given the team’s strategy for the wicket-keeper slot, he can also pip Rishabh Pant in the playing 11.
#2: Mayank Agarwal
The first-choice opener in Tests, Mayank Agarwal has been in the contention in the limited-overs format for quite some time now. Whenever there has been a requirement of a backup opener in the ODIs, Mayank’s name has been first on the list.
However, given that he is in New Zealand currently, and shall remain with there for the Tests too, Mayank can be looked upon purely as a backup opener for KL Rahul after Shikhar Dhawan’s injury.
#3: Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav is another name on the list who has been in terrific form in all forms of domestic Cricket he has played in the last few years. Be it IPL, Ranji Trophy, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, or playing for India A, Suryakumar Yadav has given his best.
Even the legendary off-spinner, Harbhajan Singh has been singing the praise of Suryakumar’s outstanding contribution in Domestic Cricket. Hence, if the team management is in the look-out of a fresh middle-order player, Suryakumar could well be the first name on the list.
Additionally, Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw also have an outside chance of getting selected. Both are in New Zealand currently playing for India A. So, it may not be a surprise if any one of these is selected.
Thanks for reading! Who do you think should replace Shikhar Dhawan? Please, let us know in the comments.
Adesh Kothari is the founder of AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics.
Cricket to him is like what ‘Football is to Lionel Messi’, ‘Singing is to Lata Mangeshkar’, ‘Dancing is to Michael Jackson’, and what ‘Acting is to Clint Eastwood’.
Besides his effervescent love for Cricket, Adesh is an MBA by qualification.