As the Sunrisers Hyderabad attempt to shake off the drubbing received at the hands of Chennai Super Kings on May 8, they will be hoping for the flamboyant leftie, Shikhar Dhawan, to come out all guns blazing against Kings XI Punjab at the PCA Stadium on Saturday.
Despite all the upheavals and uncertainties of the last edition of the league, Hyderabad are now within sniffing distance of a play-off berth. For Dhawan, it will be back to where it all began, and the demand would be for an encore.
The image of the Delhi ‘Jat’ twirling his moustache after steamrolling the Australians in the third Test in March is still fresh in the minds of fans.
His knock of 185 off 174 balls on Test debut paved the way for a comprehensive India win.
While experts will say that T20 is a different ballgame, Dhawan, after returning from a thumb injury, got two fifties which showed he had not lost his touch. The importance of Dhawan is also not lost on SRH mentor, VVS Laxman, who termed him their “strike batsman”.
“The kind of confidence Dhawan has, there is no doubt that he is our premier, strike batsman. He was not available for the first few games and one also has to remember that there are other batsmen in the line-up who have done well,” Laxman said.
On the other hand, Punjab are once again seeing the play-off berth slipping out of their reach after an eight-wicket loss to RR on Thursday.
Needing to win all the remaining matches, the hosts will be hoping to find a way to not only counter Dhawan but also SRH’s bowling attack led by Dale Steyn.