Dhawan has taken backseat in race for T20I opening spot | Photo: BCCI/ AP   |  Photo Credit: AP
- Sanjay Manjrekar said that opener Shikhar Dhawan has taken a back seat in the race for T20I opening spot
- Manjrekar also opined that Indian vice-captain Rohit Sharma will return back at the top
- Team India defeated England in the 2nd T20I to level the five-match series 1-1 on Sunday
Former Indian cricketer and full-time pundit Sanjay Manjrekar feels Shikhar Dhawan has taken a backseat in the race for the T20I opening spot amid the ongoing bilateral series between Eoin Morgan-led England and Virat Kohli’s Team India. Manjrekar, who is known for his cricket analysis post his retirement from the gentlemen’s game, has explained how Ishan Kishan’s arrival in international cricket has threatened Dhawan’s chances of starting matches for Team India.
Kishan, who made his international debut for the Kohli-led side in the 2nd T20I on Sunday, scored a sublime half-century to successfully clear the audition for the opening slot in the shortest format. The Mumbai Indians (MI) star player smashed a match-winning 32-ball 56 on debut for the Kohli-led side at the newly reconstructed Narendra Modi Stadium.
Reacting to Kishan’s impressive debut for the Men In Blue, Manjrekar explained how the supremely talented bench of Team India will have to deliver the goods in every single appearance for the Kohli-led side. During a conversation with ESPNCricinfo, Manjrekar also said that Indian vice-captain Rohit Sharma will return back at the top.
“Rohit Sharma will certainly come back at the top. This (competition for places) is good news for Indian cricket, but you can imagine the pressure players must be feeling. They need to deliver in almost every game now,” Manjrekar was quoted as saying. The former Indian cricketer opined that Dhawan has taken a backseat in the race for the opening spot.
“Someone who has taken a backseat in this race(for the opening slot) is Shikhar Dhawan. Ishan Kishan has taken a leap forward. KL Rahul will have to show some form. So it is like musical chairs.” Manjrekar added. With Rohit being rested for the first couple of matches against England, KL Rahul and Dhawan have failed to cement their spots in the playing XI. Team India will hope to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series on Tuesday.