‘Most of the Spotlight is on Kohli, Rohit’: Ravi Shastri Says Dhawan Doesn’t Get Accolades he Deserves

Shikhar Dhawan was back in action after a couple of months as India took on New Zealand in the first ODI in Auckland on Friday. The stand-in skipper showcased a class act with the bat in hand, smashing 72 off 77 balls with the help of 13 boundaries. He forged a 124-run opening stand with Shubman Gill, who also notched up a fifty to set the base for India’s 306/7 at the end of the first innings.

The 35-year-old started off a bit slow but as the innings progressed, he paced up to get back on track and got his 39th ODI fifty. Former head coach Ravi Shastri, who is currently one of the commentators in the series, lauded Dhawan for his superb knock but also pointed out that he doesn’t get the accolades he deserves.

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“He’s vastly experienced. He doesn’t get the accolades that he deserves. To be honest, most of the spotlight is on Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. But when you look at his one-day cricket record, and you look at some of the innings he has played against top teams in big games, it’s an outstanding record. A left-hander at the top makes a lot of difference,” said Shastri on Prime Video during the match.

The former India head coach further highlighted that apart from his natural stroke-play, Dhawan will be crucial with his extensive experience of playing the format and guiding young players in the squad.

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“He is a natural stroke player, he has got all the shots to countertop class fast bowling, the pull, the cut, and the drive.

“He likes it when the ball is coming onto the bat, and I think his experience will be handy here. There are a lot of talented youngsters around, but I think in this format of the game, his experience will be in value,” Shastri added further.

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Dhawan’s strike-rate in ODIs has been of huge interest to cricket fans. However, on Friday, he stepped up to add impetus to India’s innings by hitting Lockie Ferguson for back-to-back fours in the 15th over. In the 18thhe smashed two more off Adam Milne, and then reached his half-century, off 63 balls. Four balls later, Dhawan brought up the century of the opening partnership by ramping over the keeper’s head for four.

(With Agency Inputs)

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