Following a 49-ball 92, Shikhar Dhawan has stated that it was a conscious effort from his side to improve on his strike rate, which on the night read 187.76. While admitting that his slog shots have improved a lot, Dhawan insisted that he’s more relaxed and free with his stroke-making now.
Earlier this year, Shikhar Dhawan was handed a reality check, when he was dropped out of the T20I setup after just one game in the Indian colours. The left-hander, who made 4 off 12 balls in that encounter was later replaced by Ishan Kishan before Virat Kohli saw himself promoted to the top of the order. Ever since that, Dhawan has upped his T20 game, continuing his form from last season.
Last year, Dhawan scored 618 runs at an average of 44.14 and a strike-rate of 144.73. This season, though, the left-hander has improved on the numbers, averaging 62 and striking the ball at 163.15. After his match-winning knock against Punjab Kings, where he scored a 49-ball 92, Dhawan stated that it as a conscious effort from his side to improve on his strike-rate.
“It was a conscious effort from my side. I knew I have to improve on that (strike rate). Started taking more risks. Not afraid of changes, always open towards it. Not scared of getting out as well. Have worked on a few shots,” Dhawan admitted in the post-match presentation.
In three of Delhi’s matches thus far, Dhawan has earned the player of the match award twice, showing his value to the franchise and the batting order, especially in the absence of their leader Shreyas Iyer. However, notably, Dhawan pointed out that he has started playing his slog shot more freely.
Alongside that, the left-handed opener also reckoned that he is in a far more relaxed position, having played the game for many years. Dhawan also credited Prithvi Shaw’s performance, adding that the right-hander gave the much needed impetus to the team at the top of the order in the powerplay, which allowed him to settle at the crease.
“My slog shot has improved a lot. It was there earlier as well, but now I play it more freely. I'm more relaxed, having played for so many years. Don't take things for granted. Great opening with Prithvi. Happy with the way he played today and scored those 30-40 runs,” he added.