Dhawan explodes, ravages Aussie attack
Indians around the world are now packing in their Gillete Razor Blades, preparing themselves for the long wait to hone a Shikhar Dhawan-esque moustache. As he walked back to the pavilion after scoring a record breaking century, Dhawan twirled his moustache between his fingers, thrusting Chulbul Pandey into a well of shame. The fastest century on debut was a startling display of confidence and shot selection, with Dhawan refusing to be humble about his sudden call-up. After Mitchell Starc and Steven Smith fought to lead Australia to a position which was perceived strong at the time, Dhawan came out to deflate their confidence and frustrate the Aussie players.
Dhawan’s innings was embroidered with magnetic confidence, his strut resembling that of a seasoned player than a debutant replacing Virender Sehwag. Dhawan was not keen on following anybody’s footsteps or replicate his predecessors and instead played with his ruthless instinct, a decision which paid off rich dividends and has earned him well-deserved praise from all quarters. Murali Vijay’s equally classy, and comparatively patient knock was greatly over-shadowed by Dhawan’s hundred. Australia have a steep task ahead of them, and one has to wonder if Mickey Arthur is beginning to regret his decision of dropping their most successful bowler in the series.
Dhawan seems to have answered India’s desperate pleas for a sound opener, who avoids dismissing himself rather than being dismissed. He hardly found it necessary to go the aerial route, preferring to stay earth-bound, knocking balls around the park and shattering records along the way. The sound from his bat when it made contact with the ball was louder than any fighter-jet that ever flew above the PCA stadium, and definitely a lot sweeter. The scant crowd that descended on their lazy Saturday mornings understandably would have arrived expecting to see Sachin Tendulkar or MS Dhoni in action, but instead got a day’s worth of Shikhar Dhawan, a poor transaction on most days, but a golden one today.
As a debutant, Dhawan increased the misery of this Aussie attack quite unexpectedly, especially after the beatings they have been getting from the likes of Dhoni and Pujara. The one success the Australian’s have had in the series has been their ability to get that first wicket early, but Dhawan thwarted the last hope of happiness for the everyday Aussie fan, exposing their glaring bowling drawbacks.
But all of this is short-term, of course. Dhawan’s revelatory hundred deserves high praise and more than a few tweeted tributes, but he has a long, long way before he can even begin climbing that stairway to heaven. The Indian fan’s mentality of praise-one-day-and-chuck-the-next has caused great hindrance to many a player, Ravindra Jadeja being a survivor and Rohit Sharma being a victim. One must be careful of placing Dhawan in a pedestal higher than he can see from. He’s begun his career brilliantly. Let’s applaud him for that, and move on to the next day, a fresh day.
Indians will be turning on their television sets on Sunday to witness what could be one of the fastest double hundreds in Test match history. If he does get there, another wave of praise will follow, but let’s make sure that this time it doesn’t swallow him into the middle of the ocean. We’ve done a good job with Che Pujara, now let’s follow suit with Mr. Pandey, I mean, Dhawan.