Shikhar Dhawan will be hard to ignore come WT20 if he racks up runs in SL tour, claims Aakash Chopra

Renowned expert Aakash Chopra believes that the selectors will have a ‘sweet headache’ with regards to picking the openers for the WT20 should Shikhar Dhawan end up having a prolific series against Sri Lanka. Chopra, however, pipped Rahul to win the battle, with Kohli slotting in at No.3.

Five months ago, despite impressing in IPL 2020, the management demoted Shikhar Dhawan to being a mere back-up, but the veteran, through his showing in the first half of IPL 2021, once again made a case for being considered the first choice. With 380 runs, Dhawan finished the first half of the now-postponed IPL 2021 edition as the highest run-getter, and the stellar showing once again led to observers vouching for the 35-year-old to partner Rohit Sharma come the WT20.

Dhawan is currently far away from being first choice, but renowned expert Aakash Chopra is of the opinion that the southpaw would be ‘hard to ignore’ should he light up the Sri Lanka series. Dhawan is set to captain India against Sri Lanka, and Chopra asserted that the selectors will have a sweet headache if the seasoned campaigner rack up the runs in the Island Nation. 

“If Shikhar Dhawan scores two hundreds and three fifties in the Sri Lanka tour then how will you rule him out? He anyway plays well in the IPL, so does Prithvi Shaw. So, it’s an interesting situation, I would call it a sweet headache for Indian selectors,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel, reported Hindustan Times.

The former Indian opener, however, reckoned that the person leading the race for the opener’s slot is KL Rahul. Rahul was axed mid-way through the England T20Is owing to a horror run, but Chopra is of the opinion that the Punjab Kings skipper will pip both Dhawan and Kohli to partner Rohit, with the Indian skipper slotting to No.3. The 43-year-old also claimed that Prithvi Shaw was also in the mix for WT20 selection.

“India have a lot of choices. Shikhar Dhawan is one, KL Rahul is the second and then you’ve got Virat Kohli too. And I would like to add Prithvi Shaw. The brand of cricket that he plays is amazing, it’s not necessary that he will score in every match but the day he scores, he will be unstoppable.

“In the end, it might just be a toss-up between Rahul and Kohli. Rahul might just win that race because now Pant will come in the middle order so there is no need for Rahul to play that role. Hardik Pandya, Pant and Ravindra Jadeja can handle the middle order duties. So I would play Rahul up the order and Kohli at 3 or maybe the other way around.”

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