New Delhi: Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman believes that India's limited-overs tour in Sri Lanka will be crucial for stand-in captain Shikhar Dhawan and he will have to score runs to secure his spot in the T20 World Cup team.
In absence of the regular skipper Virat Kohli, Dhawan will be the captain of the Indian team during the upcoming Sri Lanka tour which consists of three ODIs (July 13, 16, 18) and three T20ls (July 21, 23, 25).
''First thing, I think he is being rewarded for his consistent performance for the Indian Team, – especially in white-ball cricket – and he is the most experienced player in this squad. But Shikhar Dhawan will be very clear that he has to use this opportunity – especially keeping in mind the T20 World Cup, there is so much stiff competition,'' said Laxman on Star Sports' show Game Plan.
''There is Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul – who are established opening batsmen. Virat Kohli, very clearly mentioned that he wants to open in T20 formats. So, Shikhar Dhawan has to be amongst runs. So, while he is excited being the captain of the Indian team – and anyone will be proud to lead their country – but his focus will be to score runs and put his spot in a secure position,'' he added.
Speaking on the same show, former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan mentioned that Dhawan will be excited for the leadership role.
''He is a very fun-loving guy. Whenever you meet him, he is always laughing, very cheerful. The youngsters will be very comfortable around him. And I think, as a leader, he will have a point to prove – not to anyone, but for himself. Because last time he was leading an IPL side, that was not a very fruitful move for him, but that was so many years ago,'' said Pathan.
''So, if any senior guy wants to do something, he needs to convince himself – more than trying to prove a point to anyone else. So, he will be really excited for leadership, but at the same time, he will be looking forward to not only perform but also sharing his experience with all the youngsters,'' he added. (UNI)