Did this dismissive statement from Shikhar Dhawan push the Mumbai pacers to produce an extraordinary effort?

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan
Modified 08 Nov 2020

The Mumbai Indians swept aside the Delhi Capitals in the Qualifier 1 of IPL 2020 at Dubai on Thursday. Shikhar Dhawan was among three DC batsmen perishing without scoring during the game. Sent in to bat after losing the toss, Mumbai put on an exceptional batting show, posting 200 for 5 on the board in their 20 overs.

Although skipper Rohit Sharma fell without scoring, excellent contributions from other players in the squad lifted Mumbai. Quinton de Kock carried on his great form with a breezy 40 from 25 while Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan posted brutal fifties. The icing on the cake was Hardik Pandya’s unbeaten 37 from only 14 balls, which featured as many as five sixes.

Two of Delhi’s standout bowlers in IPL 2020, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, were taken to the cleaners as they conceded 42 and 50 in their four overs respectively. Nortje, in particular, had to suffer as he missed his yorkers against Kishan and Pandya and was punished.

Shikhar Dhawan was cleaned up by a yorker from Jasprit Bumrah.
Shikhar Dhawan was cleaned up by a yorker from Jasprit Bumrah.

In response, Delhi got off to the worst possible start as Trent Boult dismissed Prithvi Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane in the first over. Jasprit Bumrah followed it up with the massive wicket of Shikhar Dhawan in the very next over to leave Delhi reeling at an embarrassing 0 for 3.

A defiant half-century from Marcus Stoinis and Axar Patel’s fighting 42 made Delhi’s total seem respectable. However, Mumbai still ended up winning the contest by a comfortable margin of 57 runs and now have one hand on the IPL 2020 trophy after booking a place in the final.

What Shikhar Dhawan said before the match

Bumrah and Boult killed Mumbai
Bumrah and Boult killed Mumbai's chase inside two overs.

Pre-match statements, if not made thoughtfully, can sometimes come back to haunt you. This is exactly what happened in the case of Shikhar Dhawan. Prior to the Eliminator, he boasted of having seen enough of the Mumbai pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult and James Pattinson, and that he knew their plans.

“I have seen and played them enough. I am just relaxing because I want to be fresh for the game. I will watch their videos again. I already know the plans," Shikhar Dhawan was quoted saying by the Times of India.

In hindsight of what transpired, the Delhi left-hander clearly seemed to have underestimated the might of Mumbai’s pacers. While Shaw edged Boult behind the stumps, Rahane was trapped by a delivery that came in and beat him all ends up.

Shikhar Dhawan, who was dismissed for a duck the last time these two teams met, again perished without scoring not soon after, beaten by an unplayable yorker from Bumrah. Shikhar Dhawan’s somewhat dismissive statement about Mumbai’s pace battery riled appeared to have riled them up and the southpaw has had to eats his words.

Shikhar Dhawan is not a good predictor

This is not the first time the Delhi left-hander has ended up embarrassing himself after making a bold prediction. On a high after creating the record of two successive IPL tons, Dhawan believed that he could turn whatever he touched into gold.

“I like to stay happy, don’t like to take stress. Firstly what people say doesn’t reach my ears and I don’t wish to listen to what is being said and secondly, I love playing and it gives me joy," said Shikhar Dhawan.
“I know the hard work I have done and how fit I am and the preparations that I have done. I have full faith in me that whatever I touch I will turn it into gold,” Dhawan told ANI.

Ironically, his scores since making that statement have been 6,0,0,54 and 0. Dhawan is a lovable cricketer admired by many, but considering the two statements above, it would serve him well to refrain from making sensational claims.

What next for DC?

Having gone down to Mumbai in rather disappointing fashion in the first Qualifier, Delhi will have to wait for the winner of the Eliminator between RCB and SRH, whom them will meet in Qualifier 2. The victors of that clash will come face-to-face with a rampant Mumbai side in the IPL 2020 final.

Published 06 Nov 2020
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