Shikhar Dhawan is currently one of the leading young batsmen in the world, not least because of his appetite for scoring heavily at a frenetic pace. Over the years he has been a silent performer for different teams that he has represented so far. He played for the Delhi Daredevils in the first season, then switched to Mumbai Indians and finally he went to the Hyderabad franchise in 2011, with whom he has remained ever since.
At the time, the Deccan Chargers (now Sunrisers Hyderabad) bought him he was primarily a batsman who was talented but not someone who had the experience of the highest level. However, now the whole situation has changed with Dhawan’s superb performances for the Indian team and hence the Sunrisers have a player in their ranks who is right at the top of his game.
Every T20 team needs an opening batsman who can hit the ball high and wide so that the team can get off to a quick start and in this regard Shikhar Dhawan is not deficient. He has the requisite talent that allows him to go after some of the world’s best bowlers from the outset. However, something that often gets overlooked is that Dhawan is not merely a batsman who throws his bat indiscriminately at everything but someone who is much more clinical in his stroke play and in fact has that rare gift of knowing how to build a T20 innings- something which the very best in the business have struggled with.
Dhawan made his debut in international cricket in 2010 and hence missed out on the big bucks in the first three seasons due to the fact that domestic players are paid a fixed salary and are not made a part of the auction. He initially played for his local franchise, the Delhi Daredevils in the first season and then he moved to Mumbai Indians for the next two seasons in a player barter which saw Ashish Nehra going the other way. In the auction that took place in 2011, Dhawan went to the Deccan Chargers for $300,000. It cannot be denied that he would surely attract a much higher fee when the auctions take place next year, primarily due to his performances over the course of the 2013 season.
His highest score in the IPL is the delightful 95 not out (4*14, 6*1, 57 balls) he scored against the Kings XI Punjab in the 2011 season. What makes the innings even more important is the fact that the Deccan Chargers (now Sunrisers) ended up winning the game by a mammoth (by T20 standards) 82 runs.
Although Dhawan is known as a batsman who can score at a brisk pace, his career strike rate of 122.42 does not reflect that quality. The only conceivable reason for that is the fact that the Sunrisers do not have a very strong batting line up, which puts added pressure on him to stay at the wicket. However, Dhawan makes up for the mediocre strike rate with a top class average that would be acceptable to any high level opening batsman and in this way ensures that he scores big runs at a decent rate so that his team is benefitted.
Did you know?
Shikhar Dhawan met his British-Indian wife Aisha Mukherji through Facebook and although she was settled in Melbourne at the time, it did not stop them from meeting once in a while. The couple do not have a child yet but Aisha’s daughters from her first marriage live with them. In addition to that, Dhawan is also known as a bit of a bling god in the Indian team with his tattoos, ear studs and quirky hair styles.
By Soham Samaddar
Image Source: Sunrisers Hyderabad@Facebook