The Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) mentor said that Shikhar Dhawan’s batting exploits with Delhi Capitals (DC) remind him of the left-hander’s Under-19 days when he used to be aggressive and fearless.
Terming Shikhar Dhawan and AB de Villiers the two outstanding performers in the IPL 2021 so far, Laxman wrote in his column for The Times of India:
“The tournament is a great stage to showcase professionalism and the relentless pursuit of excellence, as exemplified by two very senior and sincere batsmen. Shikhar Dhawan and AB de Villiers have been outstanding for their franchises so far. At the moment, Delhi Capitals’ opener Dhawan tops the list of run-getters this season with 186 runs in three matches at a strike rate of 163.15 and a highest of 92."
Laxman especially said about Dhawan:
“Starting from last year’s IPL, these last eight months or so is the best I have seen Shikhar bat in T20 cricket. It reminds me of his Under-19 and India A days when he was fearless, aggressive and took the fight to the bowlers from the beginning.”
Shikhar Dhawan holds the Orange Cap in IPL 2021, with 186 runs from three matches at an average of 62 and a strike rate of 163.2. The India opener was awarded the Player of the Match in both the matches DC have won this season.
The left-hander was the highest run-getter in the 2004 Under-19 World Cup and won the Player of the Tournament award. He also had the highest List A score by an Indian batsman before Rohit Sharma (264) went past his compatriot.
A year before Rohit Sharma’s record performance, Shikhar Dhawan had scored 248 for India A against South Africa A in an unofficial ODI.
VVS Laxman praises Shikhar Dhawan’s 'wonderful attitude'
At a time when several young Indian batsmen have termed strike rate, especially in T20 cricket, as 'overrated', Shikhar Dhawan has reinvented himself and worked on his game to score at a faster clip.
Till IPL 2017, Shikhar Dhawan’s career strike rate in the tournament was around 122. In the last four seasons, that has increased to 142.
Check out the full list of IPL venues in 2021.
Praising Shikhar Dhawan for continuing to improve, VVS Laxman said:
“Shikhar has been playing international cricket for more than a decade and is 35, but he is a shining example of the truism that the learning process never ends. By his own admission, he went back to the drawing board to reinvent himself as a T20 batsman a couple of years back. That’s a wonderful attitude to possess."
VVS Laxman continued:
“The first step towards getting better is acknowledging that there is room for improvement. In Shikhar’s willingness to put in the hard yards and not rest on his laurels is a great lesson for youngsters, not just from Delhi Capitals, but across the T20 landscape."
Since IPL 2020, Shikhar Dhawan has scored 804 runs at an average of 47.3, striking at 148.6.
Despite a healthy competition for places in the Indian T20I team, Shikhar Dhawan has made a strong claim for the opener’s spot for the upcoming T20 World Cup scheduled later this year.