Shikhar Dhawan’s poor form as India opener, of late, led to a growing din of critics against the Delhi lad. The 30-year-old left-hander gave an apt answer to all those allegations by scoring a quickfire half-century in the second Twenty20 against Sri Lanka, which was also his first in Twenty20 Internationals. (Scorecard | Highlights)
Dhawan reached the 50-run mark in just 22 balls, which made him the fifth fastest half-century scorer among Indians. His innings included seven fours amnd two sixes. Courtesy Dhawan and Rohit’s blistering opening partnership India maintained a run rate of more than nine right from the first over. He finally got out to Dushmanth Chameera, as a short-pitched delivery touched his gloves to be caught by Dinesh Chandimal.
But before that he took a special liking for Sri Lanka’s Dasun Rajitha in the fourth over as he hit him for three consecutive fours. He did not stop there as in the fifth over and sixth overs by Sachithra Senanayake and Thisara Perera, he hit two fours each against them.
Dhawan ended up as the top-scorer for India as the hosts gave Sri Lanka a 197-run target in the must-win tie. Thanks India’s bowlers Sri Lanka could score only 127/9 in 20 as India leveled series 1-1.
“I am happy to score my first ever t20I half-century. I am enjoying my cricket. The captain backed me. I was confident. Once I started connecting the ball, I enjoyed the flow,” said Dhawan, who was declared man of the match.
In the recently concluded Australia series, Shikhar Dhawan scored one century – 126 in the Canberra ODI. His next best score was 68. Both the innings went in losing cause.
While India’s other opener Rohit Sharma was in the form of his life, Shikhar Dhawan’s sporadic show raised quite a few questions, especially ahead of the World Twenty20 at home.
However, in the must-win game in the three-match series against Sri Lanka Dhawan repaid the faith shown on him by the selectors to take the visitors’ bowlers to task.
He finally got out on 51, which was his highest Twenty20 International score till date, in 13 matches.