Experienced Indian batter Shikhar Dhawan has offered his initial response following his exclusion from India’s World Cup 2023 squad, following the official announcement by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday (September 5).

India, a two-time World Cup champion, are set to host the ODI World Cup for the first time since the triumphant campaign led by MS Dhoni and his team on home soil back in 2011. Under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma, India will be determined to break their title drought in ICC events.

Dhawan’s struggles and departure from the team

Dhawan’s presence in the Indian squad gradually dwindled as Shubman Gill and Rohit established themselves as a formidable opening duo, with Ishan Kishan serving as a capable backup. Dhawan’s last appearance for India dates back to December 2022 during the Bangladesh series. Despite his impressive track record in the ICC events, Dhawan experienced a dip in form in recent times. In 2022, he averaged 34.40 in ODIs with a strike rate of 74.21.

Also READ: Shikhar Dhawan unveils initial 5 picks for his dream ODI XI; two Indians make the cut

Dhawan’s wise words

This marks the first time in a decade that Dhawan won’t be part of a 50-over ICC event. Nevertheless, this setback hasn’t dampened his spirits. Dhawan extended his heartfelt best wishes to his fellow teammates for the forthcoming tournament. He took to his official social media platform, X (formerly known as Twitter), to congratulate the selected players representing the nation at this prestigious ICC event. He expressed his unwavering belief that the prayers and support of over a billion Indians will be firmly behind the team, rallying the Men in Blue to “reclaim the cup.”

“Congratulations to my fellow team mates & friends chosen to represent India in the WC 2023 tournament! With the prayers and support of 1.5 billion people, you carry our hopes and dreams. May you bring the cup back home and make us proud! Go all out, Team India,” Dhawan captioned his post.

Dhawan’s show-stopping performances in ICC tournaments

Dhawan has earned the moniker “Mr. ICC” for his consistent and stellar performances in crucial tournaments. In the ODI World Cups, he has participated in 10 matches, amassing an impressive 537 runs at an average of 53.7, featuring three memorable centuries.

Also READ: Ravi Shastri shares his verdict on India’s squad for the ODI World Cup 2023

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