Updated: November 29, 2015 3:58:24 pm
While the cricket world is busy talking about the nature of the Mohali pitch, Shikhar Dhawan must be thinking what went wrong for him as he got out to seamers on a wicket assisting the slower bowlers. In both the innings of the first Test, the opener was dismissed by Vernon Philander while chasing a ball outside the off-stump. Nothing extraordinary in the delivery, at a good height, leaving the left-hander with the angle. He chased, perished.
These are still early days in the series. And with three games to follow, and the little trend of the way Dhawan operates, his bat must get going in one of the innings in Bangalore. On the same ground, Dhawan had recently scored a 150 for India ‘A’ against Bangladesh ‘A’ just before the start of the limited overs series against South Africa. Apart from the 60 odd runs he scored in the last ODI in Mumbai, Dhawan didn’t get even a single fifty in the five-match series. Then came the two ducks in Mohali.
With some failures in the matches gone by, Dhawan’s trend suggests a big hundred is round the corner.
Dhawan’s form does not only disappoint the left-hander but India’s start with the bat as well. In both innings, openers failed to cross the 10-run mark. Murali Vijay held onto one end but it was Cheteshwar Pujara who had to play as virtual opener in the side after Dhawan’s early departures.
During the Sri Lanka series, Dhawan scored a hundred in the first Test but had to sit out of the remaining two Tests due to a fractured thumb. K L Rahul scored a hundred and then Pujara, playing as an opener cracked a match-winning century.
With some talent in the ranks, and warming the bench, it’s important Dhawan cements his place with some consistent hits.
In one of the pressers, ahead of the Bangladesh ‘A’ game, Dhawan labelled that the South Africa series was going to be “tough and entertaining”.
Dhawan, after a pair in the opener, has seen the tough part and would hope to entertain with his explosive stroke play. The Bangalore crowd must be hoping for some after Diwali fireworks from Dhawan.
When he takes guard in Bangalore, provided he’s picked, Dhawan would like to chase the ‘Gabbar’ moment – a drive through covers, reaching the three-figure mark and spreading the arms in celebration. And, of course, the twirl of the moustache.
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