If it is an ICC event, then Shikhar Dhawan can’t be far away from finding form. As happened in the last three editions, India opener Shikhar Dhawan found form just at the right time at a ‘world’ event as he scored a fine century against Australia to guide India to a commanding total of 352-5 in the 2019 World Cup on Sunday.
Dhawan hit 117 off 109 balls that laid the foundation of a massive Indian total. While Rohit Sharma hit an unbeaten century in the previous game against South Africa, it was Shikhar’s turn to bat for a majority of the innings as he brought up his third World Cup hundred.
It was the sixth ton for Dhawan in ICC events – World Cup and Champions Trophy – to go with four fifties in 20 innings. Suffice to say Dhawan loves the biggest stage.
Balls faced: 109
Strike rate: 107.3
It was an innings of the highest order. India had to keep Australia’s opening quicks Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins at bay and Dhawan, alongside Rohit, ensured India didn’t lose an early wicket. As batting became easier and Australia’s back-up bowlers failed to maintain their discipline, Dhawan cashed in. He didn’t hit a single six on Sunday, which is remarkable as he scored at more than a run a ball throughout his stay.
Dhawan has a weakness against left-arm quicks. The best thing he did was not give Starc his early wicket. What that did was knock Starc off his track and he lost his way as the innings wore on. Cummins was the only real threat, which meant basically a feeding frenzy for 40 overs. Dhawan never let the scoring rate dip, even though Rohit and even Kohli – during the start of his innings – took their time.
You can’t pick any fault in Dhawan’s batting at The Oval. In fact, even the timing of his dismissal was perfect as he got out with 13 overs to go – just the perfect amount of time for the new batsmen to get their eye in and then go after the bowling. Expect Dhawan to kick on from here.
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