R Ashwin voices support to discarded Shikhar Dhawan in India's ODI World Cup plans

The veteran left-hander was left out after persistent struggles in his only format for India last year, replaced by young wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan. 
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R Ashwin came out in support of the recently discarded experienced opening batter Shikhar Dhawan, who was dropped in favour of Ishan Kishan ahead of the ODIs against Sri Lanka earlier this month. 

Dhawan's reign in Indian cricket seemingly came to an end, with the selectors giving talented Shubman Gill a place of incumbency and spotting Kishan as back-up opener to Gill's opening duo with skipper Rohit Sharma. 

The veteran left-hander, who had by design and filter of choice became a one-format specialist, struggled through the year where he was given a chance to regain confidence and his best touch by getting appointed the stand-in captain in Rohit's absence. 

Dhawan made his runs at a measly 34.40 per piece and at a snail-walk and match-losing SR of 74.21 - making himself droppable from the selectors' point of view, especially after he failed in his last series in December versus Bangladesh where Kishan blasted a double century in Chattogram. 

Ashwin comes out in support of Dhawan 

Since then, Gill and Rohit have formed a consistent opening pair, with the former dominating his way to three centuries in six innings, including a double hundred of his own and basically cementing his spot at the top. That has further sealed Dhawan's fate. But Ashwin believes the selectors should've backed him a lot more. 

The premier India off-spinner said one big innings by Kishan shouldn't have meant the end for Dhawan, 37, especially as he retains a big-match temperament, having done well in major ICC tournaments for India over the years. 

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"Team India has always has solid openers and a solid No. 3, who would do the bulk of the scoring in ODIs. Only when the Top 3 failed, we had problems in the past. Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli. We talk a lot about Rohit and Kohli, but Dhawan is a stalwart. He was silently doing his job. Will his place be a big void to fill for Team India?" Ashwin said on his YouTube channel. 

"Should we go back to Shikhar Dhawan, or should we groom Ishan Kishan, who has just scored a double hundred? Instead of backing a player on the basis of one huge score, we should see what the team requires. Which character will deliver under pressure? Which character will serve us for a long time?"