Shikhar Dhawan has “moved on” from Test snub disappointment
Shikhar Dhawan was dropped after a torrid series against England. (Getty Image)

Shikhar Dhawan, who was dropped from India’s Test squad for the series against West Indies and the high-profile series against Australia, admitted that the snub left him sad, but he has “moved on” from the disappointment and will devote his time over the next 45 days to training and fitness.

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Dhawan last played the five-Test series against England, where in four matches, the left-handed opener scored just 162 runs at a lowly average of 20.25 with a highest score of 44 in the third Test at Trent Bridge. Before the England Tests, he played one Test against South Africa and tallied 16 runs from two innings. The last meaningful series Dhawan had was when India toured Sri Lanka in July of 2017, where he scored 358 runs in three matches at an average of 89.50 with two centuries.

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“It was a bit sad, but I’ve moved on. I’m in a good, happy, positive mood and enjoying my game. I got a bit of an off time, so I’ll dedicated that on training and working on fitness. The key is to stay positive because I know if I’m happy and positive, things always go well for me,” Dhawan told ESPNcricinfo in a video interview.

Dhawan was part of India’s squad the last time they toured Australia in 2014-15. India lost the series 0-2 with Dhawan managing 167 runs from three Tests with a highest score of 81. Not part of the side this time around, Dhawan, like many others, also feels this is a big opportunity for India to register their maiden Test series win in Australia. The left-hander played the three match T20 series which ended 1-1 and scored 76 and 41 in the two opportunities he got.

“I feel that we’ve got a very good chance to win the series here. We have to play good and complete cricket. We have to be consistent there and I think we have a good chance to beat Australia,” he said.

But while Dhawan is facing a torrid time in Tests, he has been nothing but impressive in the limited-overs format. Besides the two useful contributions he had in the two T20Is last week, Dhawan has been in quite the run since September. He piled 342 runs at 68.44 from five matches in India’s victorious Asia Cup campaign with two centuries and had a decent outing against West Indies scoring 138 runs in three T20I games against the West Indies.

What bodes well for England is that Dhawan has always done well in England in ODIs, where the World Cup will take place next year. In the 2013 Champions Trophy, Dhawan set the tournament ablaze with 363 runs in five matches, including centuries against South Africa and West Indies. Four years later, Dhawan maintained the same form and scored 338 runs from five games at an average of 67.60 as India finished runners-up.

Earlier this year in July, during the three-match ODI series in England, Dhawan had 120 runs from three games while the rest of the batsmen had a hard time dealing with the opposition. With such impressive numbers, Dhawan is hopeful of continuing his spectacular form in England in a bid to help India win their third World Cup title.

“I am a big believer in the “process”. I know as long as I can stick to it, I will get the results,” Dhawan said. “I feel that my performances have been really good in England, both the Champions Trophy and the one-day formats especially. With my experience, I hope I can convert it into runs, give good starts and win the World Cup for my team. So we can sail through and bring the World Cup home.”