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India will cross swords with the Kane Williamson-led New Zealand in a three-match ODI series scheduled to commence on Friday, November 25. Ahead of the eagerly awaited series the Men in Blue stand-in skipper for the ODI leg of the tour, Shikhar Dhawan shared his stance after being replaced as captain just prior to the Zimbabwe series held earlier this year.
Dhawan was to lead the side for the Zimbabwe series held in August this year, however, the management made last-minute changes in the captaincy and handed it to KL Rahul. The veteran southpaw opined that he was ‘not hurt’ after being removed from the role when asked by one of the journalists ahead of the ODI series against the Kiwis.
“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,” Dhawan said during the pre-match press conference.
“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,” he added.
“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 concluded.
Dhawan will now be leading the side for the third time this year as he had earlier captained during the West Indies ODI series, and then in the ODI series against South Africa at home. While there are many new additions to the squad from the recently concluded T20 World Cup 2022, Dhawan could add some of those names to the playing XI in the series.
After the conclusion of the ODI series against the Black Caps, India will then tour Bangladesh for a three-match ODI and a two-match Test series starting next month in December.