'I would've picked Shubman Gill above me' - Shikhar Dhawan

The champions left-hander got dropped in favour of the mighty talented youngster after a major dip in his scoring rate over the past year. 
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Shikhar Dhawan said he agrees with the selection committee's decision to go ahead with Shubman Gill as the side's preferred second opener ahead of him before the 2023 World Cup. The champion left-hander, wearing a heart of gold, said he would've given the talented Gill a nod before him in the side at the point which the selectors did. 

Reduced to an ODI specialist by design and selection decisions in Tests and T20Is, Dhawan had been dropped at the start of the new year for the series against Sri Lanka and hasn't been picked since. The reason was a major dip in his rate of scoring over the past 12 months: the veteran batter  hit his runs at just 74.21 while averaging 34.40 across 22 innings. 

At a time when the lack of regular game time seemed to have put an irrevocable dent in Shikhar Dhawan's game, aged 37, Gill took his own two notches higher. The prodigiously talented 21-year-old has struck 1,262 runs from the beginning of last year with a strike rate of 109.24. 

And with young Ishan Kishan, whose added skill of wicketkeeping brings balance to India's squad, scoring a majestic double hundred in Bangladesh, the selectors almost felt obliged to make a long-term call on Dhawan's career. 

Shikhar Dhawan's kind words for young Shubman Gill

But at a personal level, there is no sense of grudge about things in Shikhar Dhawan's mind. The World Cup and Champions Trophy top-scorer has an understanding around why Gill managed to replace him and he had to step along to the sidelines for the betterment of the Indian team. 

In an interview with 'Aaj Tak', the clip of which has gone viral, Dhawan was asked if would he have picked 'Shikhar Dhawan' ahead of Gill at the point which the selectors felt on the contrary? The batter answered 'no' with a deep sense of security and confidence. 

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"I would've picked Shubman ahead of me," Dhawan said, before providing a brief point on self-understanding about his axing. 

"Shubman had been playing both the formats and had been performing really well. I hadn't been playing as many games (limited and sporadic number of ODIs). So If I were the selector, I would've definitely given Shubman the chance," Dhawan added.