Shikhar Dhawan Set to Return in the 3rd ODI as India Prepares for a Clean Sweep

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After clinically dismissing West Indies by comfortable margins in the 2nd ODI, India will now look forward to its first-ever clean sweep under the leadership of new full-time white balls captain Rohit Sharma in the concluding ODI at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Moreover, the senior opener Shikhar Dhawan is back from his isolation period to give the Indian team some extra strength in accomplishing the clean sweep.

Dhawan, along with three other players from the Indian squad, had been tested positive for Covid19 last week upon arriving in Ahmedabad. Though he had to miss the first two ODIs, captain Rohit Sharma made it clear that Dhawan will be a part of the Playing XI for the last ODI. 

“We will get Shikhar back for next game, and he needs some game time. It is not always the results. We wanted to try it one game,” Rohit had said.

In Dhawan’s absence, the team management introduced Ishan Kishan to the opening position in the first game and, in the second game, brought Rishabh Pant to open alongside the skipper. However, Pant would now return to his middle-order position beside Suryakumar Yadav, who emerged as the highest scorer in the 2nd game. 

On the other hand, deputy KL Rahul would also continue to bat along with ex-captain Virat Kohli. This means Deepak Hooda would have to give up his position in the squad to make way for the senior opener.

Meanwhile, Ruturaj Gaikwad has also returned from the Covid19 isolation but it is highly unlikely that he would play in the concluding ODI. However, it remains uncertain whether Shreyas Iyer would get a chance in the team or not. 

Now that India has sealed the series, the team management can experiment with the playing combination. So, it will be interesting to see if the returning left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav and young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi get a chance in the match. Either Yuzvendra Chahal or Washington Sundar could be rested so that one of their teammates could enter the team.

After excellent performances in the 2nd game, it is highly unlikely that the duo of Prasidh Krishna and Shardul Thakur would not feature in the Playing XI. However, If the management decides to include pacer Avnesh Khan, Mohammed Siraj would have to be dropped. 

Probable Xi

India: Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna.

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