Shikhar Dhawan ‘a bit shocked’ to miss out on Asian Games

India’s first-choice players will not be going to the Games in Hangzhou next month, with the World Cup starting soon after; instead, the BCCI named a second-string squad for the Games, led by Ruturaj Gaikwad. On four previous occasions when first-choice players were unavailable, rested or engaged in a concurrent series elsewhere, Dhawan had taken charge of the second team.

“When my name was not there, I was a bit shocked. But, then, I was like they have a different thought process, you just have to accept it,” Dhawan to PTI. “Happy that Rutu [Gaikwad] will lead the side. All the young boys are there, I am sure they will do well.”

Dhawan, who has not added to his 167 ODIs since December last year, said he was keeping fit should a call-back materialise. “I will be ready, of course. That is why I keep myself fit. There is always a chance whether it is 1% or 20%.

“I still enjoy training and I still enjoy the game, these are the things in my control. Whatever decision is made, I respect that.

“I have not spoken to any selector [about my future]. I keep going to National Cricket Academy [in Bengaluru]. I enjoy my time there, the facilities are great. NCA has shaped my career and I am grateful for it.”

Dhawan captains Punjab Kings at the IPL, and for now he’s happy to work towards success there. “I am in a very happy state of mind. I am very blessed to have such an amazing career and contribute to the Indian team.

“At this stage, you go year by year. Physically I am very fit and I have an IPL to win for Punjab Kings. Hopefully, we can do that next year.”

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