Opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of India‘s T20I series against New Zealand this month.
Dhawan has been sidelined by injury. His left shoulder was hurt while fielding during the third and final ODI against Australia in Bengaluru earlier this week. His ribs were also injured during the second ODI in Rajkot.
India and New Zealand will contest five T20Is between 24 January and 2 February 2020. This tour is in preparation for India's T20 World Cup campaign in Australia later this year. Unibet have India priced at 4.50 to win the 2020 T20 World Cup.
“We want to bat well when we bat first and in case we're defending a low total, we should be able to do that as well. Clarity of mind is really crucial because we're playing in conditions that are not ours, so we have to take even more intensity into that series to put the home team under pressure, set that sort of template from game one and build from there,” said captain Virat Kohli ahead of the series opener in Auckland on Friday.
Whether the Board of Control for Cricket in India name a replacement for Dhawan remains in the balance. India toured New Zealand last year, winning four ODIs but losing the T20I series.
“We can't afford to ease into the series after two games, because then it keeps getting tougher and tougher, so we'll look to make a mark in the first game that we play, play expressive cricket and be sure of what we want to do,” added Kohli.
“On the last tour we were very positive in how we played, very sure of what we wanted to do. The thing about playing away is if you're able to put the home team under pressure, you can enjoy your cricket. You have to win at home, there's that sort of feeling. So if you bring out your A game, you can really put them under pressure.”
Dhawan in IPL
The shoulder injury might jeopardise Dhawan's participation in the Indian Premier League. He currently represents the Delhi Capitals (formerly called the Delhi Daredevils). The hard-hitting left-hander has previously played for the Deccan Chargers, Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL.
Dhawan is the fifth-highest run-scorer in the history of the IPL, having struck 4579 in 158 innings. Only Indians Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma – and Australian David Warner – have more.