Shikhar Dhawan went through a tough phase last year. The stylish left-handed opener saw his position in the national side become uncertain after some inconsistent form, and he was demoted to Grade C in BCCI’s central contracts list.
However, Dhawan has not let negativity affect his performance in the IPL . The Delhi player is currently fourth in the top run-scorers’ list with 341 runs from nine matches. He has also scored two half centuries. This comes after some good showing in other domestic tournaments.
Dhawan’s performance was praised by Sunrisers Hyderabad coach Tom Moody on Monday. “Shikhar, according to me, has always got unfair scrutiny. He has played a significant part for Sunrisers Hyderabad. His performance last year was one of the reasons we played in the final,” said Moody.
“You compare him with any other opener, he is among the best and does consistently well. Yes, his strike rate is not 150. But he provides balance to the side.”
“The partnership between David (Warner) and Shikhar is a significant one. It has been the most potent opening attack in the IPL and they complement each other. But you will always have a more naturally dominant player who can decimate any attack. And David showed just that against KKR,” said Moody.
“But if you have two opener who are going hammer and tongs, then things will fall apart and Shikhar has balanced that pretty well for us.”
Moody also lauded Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is currently the leading wicket-taker with 20 scalps. “His economy in the last over is around 7, which is great in T20 cricket. He has the ability to strike regularly and is among the top few bowlers when it comes to death bowling,” said Moody.
“There are only few bowlers who can bowl wide yorkers consistently as him. He and Jasprit Bumrah have mastered the art. And that comes not only thought skill but with lots of practice.”
SRH has also presented the IPL with a new talent in Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan. I don’t think Rashid needs to re-invent himself. The batsmen need to come to terms about which way his ball turns. It will take a long time for batsmen to come to term with his bowling.”