Shikhar Dhawan has once again fallen agonizingly short of a well-deserved hundred as he was caught at short mid-wicket during the first ODI against England in Pune. Nevertheless, the Delhi-born player silenced his critics and showed why he is one of the best white-ball batsmen India have at the moment.
The likes of Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal, who had set the stage on fire in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, were overlooked for the ODI series. Shikhar Dhawan was thus under some pressure as his place in the squad was questioned by many, despite having a career average of 45.66.
However, great players thrive under pressure instead of getting bogged down, and that is exactly what happened with the 35-year-old. He paced his innings wonderfully and scored a well-made 98 almost at a run-a-ball.
Fans on Twitter react to Shikhar Dhawan's superb show
Even though fans on Twitter were disappointed with Shikhar Dhawan missing out on what should have been his 18th ODI hundred, they hailed the Indian opener for his fantastic knock.
Here is what they had to say.
India were put into bat by England and it was not exactly a walk in the park for the openers, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. The duo had to see off the new-ball burst from the England pacers. Dhawan took his time to get his eye in and Rohit tried to up the ante after the completion of 10 overs.
However, after the dismissal of the swashbuckling right-hander, it was down to Shikhar Dhawan to take the initiative and make up for the deliveries he had consumed. Virat Kohli's run-a-ball innings coupled with Dhawan's aggression helped India shift gears in the middle overs.
Although Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and Dhawan lost their wickets in quick succession, the hosts will hope that KL Rahul and the Pandya brothers can take India close to the 300-run mark.