Seldom does one come across an interesting case like Shikhar Dhawan. A cricket freak friend of mine, who also happens to be a diehard fan of Shikhar Dhawan, had correctly termed him as a care free cricketer. Dhawan, who started playing first class matches in the year 2004, has played only 4 tests, 31 ODIs and 2 T20s so far, in the journey which has stretched across 9 long years. This denotes only one thing – inconsistency.
First of all, let us see his performance in Test cricket. In his test debut at Mohali, he had played an amazing innings where he scored 187 runs in just 174 balls. But sadly, he has not been able to sustain that thrilling performance subsequently. Recently, his form in ODIs as well as tests has been poor. He has to stay focused and needs to perform consistently. He has already completed 28 years of age and this is not the right time for flaunting or experimenting.
I do understand that he has accumulated a huge fan following, owing to his bold and stylish game play, but he must not forget that one has to deliver regularly to keep his place intact, irrespective of his record or stature. Period.
There is no doubt that he is among the best stroke players, who plays in a fully confident and composed manner. He plays with a rather stiff hand and is treated as an aggressive batsman, who plays attractive strokes. His capabilities got noticed in the year 2003-04 when he became the man of the tournament in the under 19 world cup. But he could not maintain the rhythm and failed to sustain his good performance in the domestic circuit.
On a different note, it is interesting to note his association with different teams in IPL. He began with Delhi Daredevils in2008 but soon shifted to Mumbai Indians in 2009 and played till 2010. But then he was signed by Deccan Chargers. Frequent change of teams again points towards lack of consistency.
He has got one test century and 5 ODI centuries to his credit. It is hoped that he will consider the ground reality and will undertake all-out efforts to become consistent. There is no dearth of talent but he needs to be more focused.
The hype and style, if excessive, leads you nowhere. Ultimately, it is not important how you score but what really matters is how you run the game. It is the sheer commitment which leaves a long lasting impact, otherwise your average is just a number. Hope to see him strike and strike really well.