Former head coach of India Ravi Shastri has said veteran southpaw opener Shikhar Dhawan is not getting the accolades he deserves and most of the spotlight is on Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
Regarded as one of the ODI greats, Dhawan is currently leading the Men In Blue in the three match ODI series against New Zealand in the absence of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul.
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The 36-year-old performed brilliantly in the first ODI at Auckland’s Eden Park on Friday (25 November), hitting 72 runs from 77 balls, including 13 fours. He also had a great 124-run partnership with Shubman Gill.
Speaking during Prime Video’s pre-match coverage for the 1st ODI, Shastri said the “hugely experienced” Dhawan has an excellent track record in ODIs. He said:
‘He has a lot of experience. He is not getting the awards he deserves. To be fair, most of the spotlight is on Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. But when you look at his one-day cricket record and some of the innings he’s played against top teams in big games, that’s an excellent record.’
He is a natural striker – Ravi Shastri on Shikhar Dhawan
The former India National Cricket Team head coach went on to say that Dhawan is a “natural striker” and he is capable of playing different types of shots to counter the fast bowling. He added that while several youngsters are waiting in the wings, Dhawan’s experience in ODIs is invaluable.
“A left-hander at the top makes a lot of difference. A natural striker, he has all the shots for top class fast bowling, the pull, the cut and the drive. He likes it when the ball hits the bat, and I think his experience will come in handy here. There are many talented youngsters around, but I think in this form of the game his experience will be of great value,” he added.
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