‘No debate’ over No 4 anymore, says Shikhar Dhawan

India opener Dhawan admitted that the experience of playing in the English conditions will help the Indian team in the World Cup which begins from May 30.

Shikhar Dhawan at a promotional event in Mumbai on Wednesday.   -  Special Arrangement


India’s opening batsman, Shikhar Dhawan, said that there is no debate over the No. 4 slot.

Last week, the five-member national selection committee left out Ambati Rayudu and named Vijay Shankar as the No. 4 option for the World Cup. That decision had left the cricketing world divided.

Dhawan, however, made it clear the team will go ahead with whatever captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri decide.

“There is no debate anymore now. There is Vijay now. Even K.L. Rahul is there. They are there to play for that number. Whatever the captain and coach think we will go with them,” Dhawan, who was named the brand ambassador of GS Caltex, said on Wednesday.

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The 33-year-old batsman also admitted that the experience of playing in the English conditions will help the Indian team in the World Cup, which begins from May 30.

“When we played Test series in England last year, pitches were totally different. When we go and play the ICC tournaments, the pitches are going to be very different. Especially in England, we have performed really well in ODI format and T20s,” Dhawan said.

“You remember Champions Trophy (in 2013 and 2017). In 2013, we were champions and in 2017, we were runner-up and mostly all the players are the same so that’s again a good sign. We’ve got a mature and settled side and at the same time, we all know the conditions very well. All the players have visited England earlier and they know what sort of wickets we are going to get and what to expect there. So that gives a huge advantage for us and for sure we are going to explore it,” Dhawan added.

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The seasoned batsman also admitted that the left-hand-right-hand batting combination between him and Rohit Sharma is a big boost for the Indian team. “It gives a lot of advantage because the bowler doesn’t get settled that easily. At the same time, Rohit (Sharma) and myself have been performing very well for the past few years and we both are experienced players and we know how to do our job as openers, so we disturb the bowler’s line and length…,” he said.

“The bowler has to change his line and length according to the batsman and we both are attacking players and with that experience, we can get into the bowlers’ mind and disturb their rhythm. (That’s what) we want and we will do,” Dhawan added.

In the ongoing Indian Premier League, Dhawan has amassed 401 runs from 11 games for Delhi Capitals and he wants to carry this form into the World Cup. “We (Delhi Capitals) are second on the table, so first I would want DC to win the IPL and then we have the World Cup. I make sure that I stay fit and healthy for the World Cup, go there and do my best and win the title as a team,” Dhawan said.

In his long international career, Dhawan has scored 5,355 runs in 128 ODIs.

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