Shikhar Dhawan has been allowed to miss the first three ODIs against Australia, with the series starting on September 17, to attend to his ailing wife. The left handed opener had missed the last few games against Sri Lanka to be by the side of his mother who had been going through health issues. BCCI has not named any replacement for Dhawan.
The BCCI statement read: “Team India opener Shikhar Dhawan has requested to be released from the team for the first three ODIs of the Paytm Australia tour of India, 2017 to attend to his wife, who is unwell. The All-India Senior Selection Committee has decided not to name any replacement for Dhawan in Indian Cricket Team.”
Earlier Dhawan had missed the fifth ODI against Sri Lanka and the lone T20I, with India not missing the batsman much as they romped home to a 5-0 series finish and won the game in the shortest format as well. At the time, Dhawan’s mother was recovering from illness. “Shikhar Dhawan would be leaving for India tomorrow i.e. September 3rd to see his ailing mother. Dhawan’s mother is stable and is recovering well at the moment,” said BCCI statement at the time.
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has decided not to name any replacement for the 5th ODI and the only T20I, scheduled on September 3rd and 6th respectively in Colombo.”
Dhawan’s absence from the first three ODIs opens door for Ajinkya Rahane to open the innings alongside Rohit Sharma. India captain Virat Kohli had already said Rahane is the third choice opener for in the limited overs.
“Shikhar Dhawan came and got the golden bat in the Champions Trophy and then he has won us two Test matches with the bat. So he is an impact player and we all know that. So, Rahane understands that at this moment, he is the third opener and we will certainly back him there because we have shifted him around a bit in the middle order as well and it is not right. But he has grabbed his opportunities well as he was the man of the series in West Indies, so he continues to be in the set-up,” Kohli said before the first match against Sri Lanka.
INDIA SQUAD: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.