Sunday, June 16, 2013

Shikhar Dhawan - The Stylish & Fearless Opening Batsman of India

Shikhar Dhawan
Team India has found a New Opener who is ready to give his best at the International Level and is infact performing really well for Team India and his name is Shikhar Dhawan. In 2012, India lost many matches in One Day Cricket & Test Cricket. In most of the matches that India lost our openers Sehwag & Gambhir didn't play well. Indian Fans have always seen some very good opening pairs open for Team India be it Sachin - Sourav or Sachin - Sehwag or Sehwag - Gambhir. The Regular Failures of Sehwag & Gambhir brought disappointment on the faces of Indian Cricket fans.

India vs Australia, 3rd Test Match on 16th March 2013, Shikhar made his debut in Test Cricket and What a power packed knock he played. He played shots without any fear and once he got settled he didn't stop. He played the cut shot very well, pulled the ball with ease & played the cover drive on the up. What was good to see that he didn't play any pre determined strokes. He played with a simple logic of see the ball and hit the ball. Specially the cover drive came naturally to him. He timed his strokes pretty well. He scored 187 from 174 balls ( 33 Fours & 2 Sixes ). He showed a glimpse of his magnificent talent and announced his arrival at the International Test Level and Indian fans were very happy to see an aggressive opener open for Team India in Test Cricket.

Champions Trophy is going on and Shikhar Dhawan is opening the batting for India in One Day Cricket also and he has scored 2 centuries so far in the tournament. He hit a brilliant century vs South Africa when India batted first and then scored another century in the next match vs West Indies when India were chasing a good Total. So, It shows that he absorbs the pressure really well in big matches and can play well in foreign conditions.

Shikhar Dhawan made his debut in One Day Cricket in 2010 vs Australia but he got to play only 1 match and he didn't do well in that match, After that he went on to the tour of West Indies in June 2011 as an Opener. He did score a 50 in the 1st ODI match of that series but he didn't get regular opportunities after that because Sehwag and Gambhir had their places fixed in the opening slot. Now going back to 2004, Shikhar played the U-19 World Cup and became the Man of the Tournament for scoring 505 runs from 7 innings which is still a record in the Under 19 World Cup. His many team mates from the Under 19 Team like Suresh Raina , Robin Uthappa , RP Singh & Dinesh Karthik got into the Indian team but Shikhar didn't get his chance. He was disappointed but he kept performing at the Domestic Level and in many Ranji Seasons he scored piles of Runs. In 2012-13, Ranji Season he again scored lots of runs and Selectors were forced to select him for the Test Series vs Australia and we were able to see him play for India again.

We can clearly see the maturity and the patience in the way he plans his innings. He is now aged 27 and has already seen lots of up's and down's in his career. Whenever he comes in to bat he wants to play a big innings even when it is an ODI match. He is an Opener and if he gives the team a good start he makes the work of the middle order batsmen quite easier.

Shikhar Dhawan also has a style statement. He keeps a moustache and twirls it after he finishes a good innings. His style statement equally matches with his game play. In hindi, it can be said that he plays like a DABANG. The confidence on his face is always there which gives a lot of assurance to the Indian Cricket fans that he will do well with the bat.

All the Best to Shikhar Dhawan for the upcoming matches. He should now be given enough opportunities to prove himself even if he doesn't perform well in some matches. He is a fascinating talent and has shown that he can play well in any condition. He played his strokes in the same manner in England as he played it in India. He doesn't have any problem with the short ball or with the pace which is very good to see. In the coming years, hopefully we will see many more brilliant knocks from Shikhar Dhawan in One Day Cricket and in Test Cricket.