Shikhar Dhawan made a mark in international cricket by scoring the fastest Test hundred by a debutant against Australia back in 2013. The left-handed opener was expected to blitz away in the T20 format but has been content on playing the anchor role.
When he was with Sunrisers Hyderabad, Dhawan formed a great opening combination with David Warner, but the former found himself in the shadows on many occasions. In his current franchise too, he played the supporting role to Prithvi Shaw for most of the first half of the tournament.
It looks like Dhawan has come out of playing the 'anchor’ role to becoming the ‘aggressor’ at the top for the Delhi Capitals. With Shaw getting back-to-back ducks and Rishabh Pant not available due to injury, this fresh approach has helped his side reach first place in the IPL 2020 points table.
Shikhar Dhawan had to wait for 265 innings in T20 to bring up his maiden hundred, helping DC beat CSK by 5 wickets in the process. Even though Dhawan offered quite a few chances, this was a very good knock on a track where most batsmen struggled to time the ball well.
“It's very special. Been playing for 13 years and this is the first time that I've got a hundred, so a special moment," Shikhar Dhawan told Star Sports at the post-match presentation.
Shikhar Dhawan paced the innings to perfection
Batting in T20 is all about pacing your innings, especially in a chase, and that's where Shikhar Dhawan got it just right against CSK. He ensured the asking rate was never above 12 at any stage and attacked the right bowlers at the right time.
MS Dhoni is one of the best captains in this format in the middle-overs, as he looks to control the game with spinners. But Dhawan went one step ahead when he attacked Ravindra Jadeja upfront and also didn't allow Karn Sharma to settle down. This forced Dhoni to bring back his seamers much earlier than he would have liked.
The ball wasn’t coming on to the bat for pacers, but Dhawan created his own pace by charging down the wicket to create momentum. His shot against Sam Curran when he danced down the wicket to smack it over the bowler's head was a great example of this approach.
Shikhar Dhawan’s approach augurs well
While openers like KL Rahul and Shubman Gill are starting slowly in the powerplay and leaving a lot to be done in the middle and death overs, Shikhar Dhawan has been aggressive right through this year's IPL.
The left-hander has been striking at nearly 135 in the power play which is only bettered by Quinton de Kock and Mayank Agarwal (batsmen who have faced a minimum of 100 balls).
The Delhi batsman has now scored a couple of half-centuries and a hundred in the last three games at all three venues in the UAE, which augurs well for Shreyas Iyer’s side going into the business end of the tournament.
Who is the IPL highest run scorer ? click here to find out.Published 18 Oct 2020, 16:44 IST