Team India are all set to face New Zealand in the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series, starting on Friday in Auckland. Left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan will be leading the Men in Blue in the absence of regular skipper Rohit Sharma.
This is the third time in 2022 that Dhawan will be leading the Indian side. He has earlier captained during the West Indies ODI series, followed by the home ODI fixtures against South Africa. Dhawan had also led the Indian troops last year during the Sri Lanka tour when the main side was in England for the Test series.
Notably, Dhawan was also named as captain during the Zimbabwe series, but at the last minute, KL Rahul was given the responsibility after the latter came back into the side, having recovered from his injury. Ahead of the upcoming first ODI against the Black Caps, Dhawan was quizzed regarding how he felt after being removed from captaincy ahead of the Zimbabwe series.
Dhawan mentioned the decision did not hurt him as Rahul was the vice-captain and upon being fit, he had to lead the side. The Delhi-born cricketer observed that Rahul got a good practice of captaining ahead of the Asia Cup as in case Rohit had gotten injured, Rahul would’ve to lead the side in the multi-team event.
“You have asked a good question. I consider myself fortunate that I am getting an opportunity to lead the side at this stage of my career. I feel good about it, and it is a challenge. We have won good series with a young side. If I talk about the Zimbabwe tour, KL Rahul is the vice-captain of our main team, when he came back, I was mindful of the fact that he had to go to Asia Cup. If Rohit had gotten injured during Asia Cup, then KL might have been asked to lead. So it was better that he had the practice during the Zimbabwe tour,” said Dhawan during the pre-match presser.
“I was not hurt. I feel that whatever happens, happens for the best. I was then selected as the captain for the South Africa series, the selectors and the team management gave me that opportunity. I never feel bad,” he added.