Asia Cup 2023 Squad Revealed by Rohit Sharma and Ajit Agarkar; Shikhar Dhawan Exclusion Marks Significant Transition”

India’s captain, Rohit Sharma, and the chairman of selectors, Ajit Agarkar, took center stage on Monday during a press conference to unveil the squad for the forthcoming Asia Cup 2023. This marked a notable departure from the norm, as it marked the first instance this year of a selector engaging directly with the media.

As widely expected, the experienced opening batsman, Shikhar Dhawan, was conspicuously absent from the squad. This decision not only excludes him from the upcoming Asia Cup but also suggests his potential absence from the upcoming World Cup 2023.

Both Rohit Sharma and Ajit Agarkar solidified Shubman Gill’s position as the primary opening choice, with Ishan Kishan designated as the backup opener and secondary wicketkeeper.

Is Shikhar Dhawan’s International Career on the Verge of Conclusion?

Having amassed appearances in 167 One Day International (ODI) matches and forming a prolific opening partnership with Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan’s international journey seems to be at a crossroads. His most recent outing for India was in December 2022 during the Bangladesh series. Meanwhile, Ishan Kishan marked the same tour with a resounding double century, propelling him into a promising 2023 campaign. Significantly, even in the absence of Rohit Sharma in 2022, Shubman Gill outperformed Dhawan in terms of runs and strike rate.

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Adding to this, the 37-year-old Dhawan did not secure a place in the squad for the upcoming Asian Games in China. The leadership role for this event has been entrusted to Ruturaj Gaikwad, who will lead a team comprised of emerging and fringe players.

Chief selector Ajit Agarkar affirmed Gill and Kishan as the preferred opening choices. While acknowledging Shikhar Dhawan’s invaluable contributions to Indian cricket over a decade, Agarkar hinted at the possibility that his future selections may not be guaranteed.

Agarkar clarified, “At present, we have three openers. Shikhar has been an exceptional player, but our current in-form options for opening are Rohit, Gill, and Ishan,” marking a notable shift in the team’s strategy.

The Asia Cup 2023 squad comprises: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya (Vice Captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Prasidh Krishna, and Sanju Samson (traveling backup).

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In a separate event earlier on the same day, Shikhar Dhawan expressed unwavering confidence in his former opening partner and friend, Rohit Sharma. Dhawan lauded Sharma’s extensive experience and impressive record in ICC tournaments and bilateral series, underlining his pivotal role in the forthcoming World Cup 2023.

Dhawan indicated that his next appearance is likely to be in next year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), unless retirement intervenes before then.