Punjab franchise skipper Shikhar Dhawan is currently leading the Men in Blue for the three One Day Internationals against New Zealand. This will be his third series as captain this year. Earlier, he led Team India in the ODI series against Sri Lanka and in the home series against South Africa.
Shikhar played a brilliant knock of 72 against the New Zealand side in the first ODI which was played in Eden Park, Auckland. He built up an extraordinary partnership of 124 runs for the first wicket with Shubman Gill.
Ahead of the first ODI against the Blackcaps, the former Indian head coach, Ravi Shastri applauded Dhawan and said that the left-hander does not get the accolades that he really deserves.
India Vs New Zealand, First ODI at Auckland
Speaking during Pre-Match Coverage of Prime Video for the 1st ODI, Shastri said: "He's vastly experienced. He doesn't get the accolades that he deserves. To be honest, most of the spotlight is on Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. But when you look at his one-day cricket record, and you look at some of the innings he has played against top teams in big games, it's an outstanding record."
"A left-hander at the top makes a lot of difference. He is a natural stroke player, he has got all the shots to countertop class fast bowling, the pull, the cut, and the drive. He likes it when the ball is coming onto the bat, and I think his experience will be handy here. There are a lot of talented youngsters around, but I think in this format of the game, his experience will be in value," he added.
In the ongoing first ODI, the Blackcaps won the toss and asked India to bat first. While batting first, India scored 306 runs for the loss of seven wickets. The top performers for the Indian side were Dhawan who scored 72, Shreyas Iyer who scored 80 runs, and Shubman Gill who scored 50 runs.