India might be missing a valuable asset in the form of Shikhar Dhawan, one of the country’s most prolific opening batters since 2013. Currently leading the IPL team Punjab Kings, Dhawan surprisingly finds himself out of contention for a spot in the Indian side, with the selectors favoring players like Shubman Gill and KL Rahul.

Fans have expressed their discontent with Dhawan’s omission from the current Asia Cup 2023 squad, questioning the choices made by the Indian selectors. On social media platforms like Twitter, they voice their frustration, with one user remarking, “if you ever feel you are making wrong choices, just remember there is BCCI who has replaced Dhawan with this fraud Gill for the World Cup. #INDvsPAK.”

One of the primary reasons for Shikhar Dhawan’s reputation as one of the best opening batters lies in his ability to perform consistently in ICC Tournaments. Given that both the Asia Cup and the upcoming World Cup are scheduled in the ODI format, Dhawan boasts an impressive record of 537 runs in 10 matches in the ICC ODI World Cup. His stellar performance extends to the Champions Trophy, where he amassed over 700 runs in 10 games. Moreover, Dhawan has scored 534 runs in 9 matches in the ODI format of the Asia Cup.

However, the current Indian opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill has been struggling, especially against formidable bowling line-ups like Pakistan’s, featuring stars like Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf. In the Asia Cup 2023, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill had a challenging outing against Pakistan in their first group-stage match. Shaheen Afridi, in particular, wreaked havoc by dismissing Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli for just 11(22) and 4(7), respectively.

Team India’s decision to bat first was influenced by the overcast conditions and the potential application of the Duckworth-Lewis method in case of rain interruptions. Ravi Shastri, a prominent figure in Indian cricket, emphasized the significance of Shikhar Dhawan, highlighting his value to the team.

Fans have been critical of Dhawan’s exclusion from the Asia Cup 2023 squad, believing that his experience could have been a valuable asset for the Indian side. Shaheen Afridi’s success in exploiting the overcast conditions and swing was evident as he shattered the stumps of Rohit and Virat. The addition of Dhawan could have created an ideal left-right combination that might have unsettled the opposition’s bowling attack, challenging them with varying angles.

Presently, the Indian side facing Pakistan lacks left-handed batters, with Ishan Kishan and Ravindra Jadeja, both middle-order players, being the only lefties in the team. Fans have been vocal about their dissatisfaction with Dhawan’s omission from the Asia Cup squad and are concerned that he might also miss out on the World Cup squad.

Chief Selector Ajit Agarkar had previously indicated that the World Cup Squad would closely resemble the Asia Cup 2023 squad, further fueling the debate around Shikhar Dhawan’s absence.

Fan Reactions on Social Media

Unsurprisingly, fans have taken to social media to express their opinions about Shikhar Dhawan’s exclusion. Here are a few notable posts:

User Comment
@thegoat_msd_ “if you ever feel you are making wrong choices, just remember there is BCCI who has replaced Dhawan with this fraud Gill for the World Cup. #INDvsPAK”
@Ctrlmemes_ “We miss you Shikhar Dhawan #INDvsPAK”
@Amanyadav879 “Shubman as an opener is good…. But gabbar is emotion ❤️ #ShikharDhawan #AsiaCup2023”

These posts reflect the strong sentiments of fans who believe that Shikhar Dhawan’s experience and batting prowess should not be overlooked in the context of the Asia Cup and the upcoming World Cup.

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