Shikhar Dhawan made one of the most stunning debuts in the history of Test cricket. He announced himself at the Test match arena with a blistering knock of 187 against Australia at Mohali. It was a knock of authority, dominance and most importantly confidence. Dhawan came at a time when India were looking to move on from the opening combination of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. The selectors, after giving a handful of opportunities to Sehwag and Gambhir , picked Shikhar Dhawan purely on the basis of his consistent domestic performances.
FLASHBACK 14-18 March 2013
Shikhar Dhawan made his Test debut against Australia at Mohali in the third Test of the 4-match series. Dhawan came out to open the innings for India with Murali Vijay and batted with a lot of confidence and authority. His shot selection was astute and he backed himself to be ruthless against the inexperienced Australian attack.
The selectors got lots of praise for picking Dhawan and many thought that India have found the perfect replacement for Virender Sehwag in Test cricket. People started comparing him with Virender Sehwag and Dhawan made a glorious start to his Test career.
Shikhar Dhawan has played 11 Test matches for India and scored 690 runs at an average of 36.31. These are not really bad numbers, but Shikhar Dhawan’s place in India’s Test team is looking highly vulnerable. Dhawan, who was praised for his astute shot selection in the first few Test matches that he played, is now being criticized for playing too many aggressive shots at the start of the innings. In his last 9 innings, Dhawan has scored only 180 runs at an average of 20.00. He is not sure about where his off stump is and he is very vulnerable against the moving cherry. Just like many other batsmen from the sub-continent, he has developed a habit of hanging his bat outside the off-stump. He plays with hard hands and doesn’t give himself the right amount of time at the start of the innings.
Shikhar Dhawan may enjoy a long rope, since he has played eight of 11 Tests away from home in conditions that are very testing for a sub-continent batsman. But Shikhar has really struggled in his last 10 Test innings; 2, 12, 29, 7, 31, 6, 37, 25, 9 and 24.
[blocktext align=”left”]Dhawan hasn’t scored a fifty in his last 10 innings. [/blocktext]
India have picked a young opener for the tour of Australia and Dhawan’s poor run will surely put him in contention. While Dhawan might get a longish rope, his run-drought will surely start raising eyebrows.
By The Cricket Lounge