Senior opener Shikhar Dhawan is all set to be back in action having recovered from a fractured left-thumb sustained during the second Test match against New Zealand at Kolkata in September.
Dhawan is all set to play Delhi’s next Ranji Trophy game against Rajasthan at Wayanad in Kerala, starting November 21.
Delhi coach KP Bhaskar confirmed Dhawan’s availability for the next round encounter.
“Shikhar has fully recovered from the left thumb fracture and is fit to play competitive cricket again. His rehab is also complete and has gone back to National Cricket Academy for a final check-up. He has told me that he will be joining the squad directly in Wayanad from Bengaluru. Shikhar’s presence will certainly bolster the side,” Bhaskar revealed.
Dhawan was ruled out of the third Test against New Zealand and in his place veteran Gautam Gambhir made a comeback. The 30-year-old was also not fully fit by the time the squad for the two Tests against England was named.
Dhawan in all likelihood will not be picked for the five Test matches against England with another injured opener KL Rahul already fit and in blazing form with scores of 76 and 106 against Rajasthan in the ongoing Ranji Trophy match.
Dhawan’s scores in his last three Test appearances are 1, 26, 29, 29, 1 and 17, which does not exactly inspire confidence of highest order.
Murali Vijay is an automatic choice and Rahul is expected to be back in the team anytime. Gambhir, who scored a second innings 50 against New Zealand, is also fighting to keep his place after twin failures at Rajkot, where his technique against England pacers was thoroughly exposed.
Unless another injury happens to any opener during the ongoing series, Dhawan would be looking to get himself ready by playing the next few Ranji Trophy rounds in order to get into the limited overs side as he is very much in the scheme of things as far as Champions Trophy in England is concerned.
Dhawan has so far scored 1464 runs at an average of 38.62 from 23 Tests.