'I wasn't hurt..': Dhawan opens up on last-minute captaincy snub in Zimbabwe ODI series after KL Rahul's entry
Shikhar Dhawan will be leading the Indian side in the three-match ODI series against New Zealand which is set to commence from Friday (November 25) while the first match will be played at Eden Park in Auckland.
After guiding India to a 3-0 series victory in the three-match ODIs against Zimbabwe in August, it will be a task cut out for Dhawan in New Zealand, especially in the absence of senior players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul.
While addressing a press conference on the eve of the first ODI against New Zealand, Dhawan opened up on his last-minute captaincy snub in the Zimbabwe ODI series owing to KL Rahul's surprise entry into the squad.
"You have asked a good question. I consider myself fortunate that I am getting an opportunity to lead the side at this stage of my career. I feel good about it and it is a challenge. We have won good series with a young side. If I talk about the Zimbabwe tour, KL Rahul is the vice-captain of our main team, when he came back, I was mindful of the fact that he had to go to Asia Cup. If Rohit had gotten injured during Asia Cup, then KL might have been asked to lead. So it was better that he had the practice during the Zimbabwe tour," Dhawan said during a pre-match press conference.
"I was not hurt. I feel that whatever happens, happens for the best. I was then selected as the captain for the South Africa series, the selectors and the team management gave me that opportunity. I never feel bad," he further added.
Talking about the 2023 World Cup, and how having options such as himself, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul to open might prove as a headache for the team, Dhawan said: "We guys have been performing well for a period of time. At the same time, talking about myself, I have to keep performing. I know till the time I perform, it would be good for me. It keeps me on my toes and keeps me hungry."
When asked about how he ensures that mental health stays in top shape in this social media age, Dhawan said: "On social media, there is trolling. We are used to it now, smart people know how to go about using social media. They know if they don't perform, what kind of chatter will take place on social media. It totally depends on our performance. When you know it, there is no need of looking into it. That's how I deal with it."
India recently crushed the home team New Zealand in the three-match T20I series 1-0. The opening T20I game was washed out due to rain. In the 2nd T20I, the men-in-blue won by 65 runs after defending a mammoth 191-run target. The IND vs NZ 3rd T20I was tied through the DLS method.
The three ODI games are scheduled to take place on November 25 (Friday), November 27 (Sunday), and November 30 (Wednesday).
India’s squad for New Zealand ODIs: Shikhar Dhawan (C), Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (VC and WK), Sanju Samson (WK), Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Chahar and Umran Malik.
New Zealand Squad For ODIs: Kane Williamson (Captain), Michael Bracewell, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Tom Latham, Glenn Phillips, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Adam Milne, Tim Southee.