Shikhar Dhawan shocked after Asian Games snub but remains hopeful of India recall

In an unexpected turn of events, seasoned Indian cricketer Shikhar Dhawan has expressed his astonishment at being left out of the squad for the upcoming Asian Games.

Despite the setback, Dhawan remains resolute in his determination to make a comeback and continue contributing to Indian cricket.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently revealed that India's first-choice players would not be participating in the Asian Games in Hangzhou next month.

Instead, a second-string squad has been assembled for the competition, with Ruturaj Gaikwad leading the charge. This decision by the BCCI took Dhawan by surprise, especially considering his previous involvement in leading the second team during similar circumstances.

READ: India Asian Games squad

Shikhar Dhawan shocked at omission

“When my name was not there, I was a bit shocked. But, then, I was like they have a different thought process, you just have to accept it,” Dhawan told PTI, reflecting on his unexpected exclusion.

Despite his initial surprise, Dhawan is optimistic about the squad led by Gaikwad and believes in the potential of the young players who have been selected for the tournament.

“Happy that Rutu (Gaikwad) will lead the side. All the young boys are there, I am sure they will do well,” Dhawan said.

Dhawan, who hasn't featured in an ODI match since December of the previous year, has been steadfast in maintaining his fitness and readiness for a potential comeback.

He emphasized, “I will be ready, of course. That is why I keep myself fit. There is always a chance whether it is 1% or 20%. I still enjoy training and I still enjoy the game, these are the things in my control. Whatever decision is made, I respect that.”

Shikhar Dhawan
Photo by Icon sport

Addressing his current communication with the selectors, Dhawan revealed that he has not spoken to any selector about his future. However, he continues to actively engage with the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, a place he considers instrumental in shaping his cricketing journey.

He expressed his gratitude towards the academy, stating, “NCA has shaped my career and I am grateful for it.”

Amidst this unexpected turn of events, Dhawan's focus remains on his role as the captain of the Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

He seems to be content with his present state of mind and aims to lead his team to victory.

“I am in a very happy state of mind. I am very blessed to have such an amazing career and contribute to the Indian team. At this stage, you go year by year. Physically I am very fit and I have an IPL to win for Punjab Kings. Hopefully, we can do that next year.”

While Shikhar Dhawan might have been taken aback by his exclusion from the Asian Games squad, he remains a steadfast competitor, ever willing to embrace challenges and maintain his readiness for any future opportunities that may arise.

His dedication to the game, his fitness, and his positive outlook underscore his commitment to making a triumphant return to the cricketing arena.

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India's Asian Games squad

In a strategic move ahead of the Asian Games T20 competition, the BCCI had revealed the lineup for the second-string men's squad a few weeks ago. Ruturaj Gaikwad, the promising right-handed batter, had been entrusted with the captaincy role for the tournament, which took place in Hangzhou.

The announcement had come as India geared up for the ICC Men's Cricket ODI World Cup, scheduled to commence in early October.

With the World Cup and Asian Games cricket tournament closely aligned in their schedules, BCCI had opted to field a youthful side for the latter, allowing their premier players to focus on the global ODI event.

But Dhawan's omission from recent ODI squads and from the Asian Games squad gives a clear hint that India have moved on from the veteran southpaw in limited-overs cricket.

Meanwhile, Yashasvi Jaiswal, a name that had been making waves, found himself in the squad after an impactful debut Test century. Alongside Jaiswal, emerging talents such as Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, and Jitesh Sharma had also earned their spots in the squad, signaling India's intent to nurture a new generation of cricketers.

India Asian Games men's squad

Squad: Ruturaj Gaikwad (Captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rahul Tripathi, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Shivam Mavi, Shivam Dube, Prabhsimran Singh (wk)

Standby list of players: Yash Thakur, Sai Kishore, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Sai Sudarsan.


Rohit is an experienced cricket writer based in India