Former Indian batter Mohammad Kaif has backed Punjab’s decision to replace Mayank Agarwal as captain for the Indian T20 League 2023 with veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan. Kaif believes the move will serve as motivation for the left-hander, who is nearing the end of his career.
Kaif expressed his support for Punjab’s decision to name Dhawan as captain for the upcoming season. “I am happy people are not forgetting him. At least the franchises are backing him and giving him that respect. The franchise is basically telling him – you have shown what you can do with the bat. Now can you lead Punjab to victory in the IPL?” he said while speaking to Sportskeeda.
The former cricketer elaborated on Dhawan’s elevation to captaincy, saying it came at the right time. “It is good that he has been given that responsibility and respect. Being promoted as captain of Punjab will be a motivation for Dhawan at this stage in his career. He might not play for more than 3-4 years, so I feel the captaincy has come at the right time for him. Since he is also leading India, he knows about the players and his mind is also switched on. I am hopeful of him doing a good job in the IPL,” he said.
He has done so well for India: Mohammed Kaif
Dhawan, according to Kaif, is an unsung hero who does not get the credit he deserves. “He has done so well for India. Even in the IPL, he has more than 6000 runs. In almost every IPL season, he notches up 400-500 runs. A couple of years back, he also scored his maiden T20 ton. The last 2-3 years have been excellent for Dhawan,” said Kaif.
Punjab fired Agarwal, who had been named captain for the 2022 season, after he failed to deliver as a leader and batter. The 31-year-old batsman had a forgettable season, scoring 196 runs in 13 games at an average of 16.33 and a strike rate of 122.50. The Karnataka cricketer, who led Punjab to sixth place in 2022, has also been released from the squad.
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