Shikhar Dhawan to miss remaining Sri Lanka tour for family reasons
New Delhi: In a saddening news for the Shikhar Dhawan fans, the flamboyant opener will not participate in the remainder of the Sri Lankan tour as he has to return to India to attend his ailing mother, confirmed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday.
Now, Dhawan would not play in the fifth One-Day International (ODI) and sole Twenty20 International (T20I) against Sri Lanka which are scheduled for September 3 and September 6, respectively.
BCCI, however, hasn’t named any replacement of Dhawan.
"Shikhar Dhawan would be leaving for India tomorrow i.e. September 3rd to see his ailing mother. Mr Dhawan’s mother is stable and is recovering well at the moment," the BCCI said in a statement.
"The All-India Senior Selection Committee has decided not to name any replacement for the 5th ODI and the only T20I, scheduled on September 3rd and 6th respectively in Colombo," it added.
The development has paved way for Ajinkya Rahane to open the innings with Rohit Sharma for India in the remaining matches against the Islanders.
Before the start of the five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka, which India has already won 4-0, Indian captain Virat Kohli had said that Rahane obviously is a part of the set-up and is the third choice opener in the limited-over format. With Dhawan's absence, Rahane seems set to play his first game of the series on Sunday.
"Shikhar Dhawan came and got the golden bat in the Champions Trophy and then he has won us two Test matches with the bat. So he is an impact player and we all know that. So, Rahane understands that at this moment, he is the third opener and we will certainly back him there because we have shifted him around a bit in the middle order as well and it is not right. But he has grabbed his opportunities well as he was the man of the series in West Indies, so he continues to be in the set-up," Kohli had said.
India is already 4-0 up in the five-match series with the last match to be played at the R Premadasa ground in Colombo where the hosts suffered a historic 168-run defeat, biggest at home turf in terms of runs, in the fourth ODI.
If India wins the last ODI, it will be India's second successive 5-0 ODI series victory over Sri Lanka. Last time in November 2014, when these two teams locked horns in a bilateral series, a feeble Sri Lanka had suffered a humiliating 0-5 defeat.