Aakash Chopra has picked Shikhar Dhawan as the star performer in last night's IPL 2022 encounter between the Punjab Kings (PBKS) and the Mumbai Indians (MI).
Dhawan scored 70 runs off 50 deliveries and almost batted through the PBKS innings. His knock helped the IPL 2014 finalists reach a slightly above-par score of 198/5, and they went on to win the match by 12 runs.
While reviewing the PBKS-MI clash in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra was full of praise for Dhawan. He said:
"Shikhar Dhawan is that kind of a player you have got to have in your team. The sort of T20 cricket he is playing for the last three years, he started this season slightly slowly, it was not a lack of form but a lack of runs was seen, the big scores. He made up for it in this match."
The cricketer-turned-commentator lauded the veteran batter for shouldering the responsibility and delivering the goods. He elaborated:
"The carefree Shikhar Dhawan. The way he batted, remember he is an old Mumbai Indian, he had started with the Mumbai Indians, then Delhi, Hyderabad and then again via Delhi, now he has reached Punjab. If you want to beat Mumbai you have to look towards your big players. When the stage is big, look towards the leader and the leader this time was Dhawan."
Dhawan, with 871 runs to his name, is now the top run-scorer against the Mumbai Indians in IPL history. He surpassed Suresh Raina's tally of 824 runs against the five-time champions during his 70-run effort.
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"I had said that he is due for big runs" - Aakash Chopra on Shikhar Dhawan finally playing a substantial knock
Aakash Chopra pointed out that he had predicted a significant contribution from Dhawan against the Mumbai Indians. He observed:
"I had said that he is due for big runs, he is batting well, that he will eventually score good runs and his numbers are very good against this team. He actually started slowly, he was going at run-a-ball. He did jump down the track and hit a six off Jaydev Unadkat's first ball but after that run-a-ball, where Mayank was batting amazingly well."
The 44-year-old also praised the southpaw for adopting a more aggressive approach after Mayank Agarwal's dismissal. He stated:
"Shikhar Dhawan picked up pace when Mayank got out, switched the wagon immediately to the second gear, second to the fourth and fifth, shifted to a flying gear and they (PBKS) managed to post a huge total."
Dhawan hit five fours and three sixes during his innings. His 97-run partnership for the opening wicket with Agarwal laid the foundation for the Punjab Kings' mammoth total.
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Q. Will Shikhar Dhawan finish as the Punjab Kings' highest run-getter in IPL 2022?
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