Legendary Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar heaped praise on the impregnable Shikhar Dhawan and noted that the orange cap holder has not put a foot wrong all season, and has not taken his form for granted. Gavaskar noted that Dhawan, unlike most of his compatriots, has simply stuck to his basics.
A 35-year-old Shikhar Dhawan topping the IPL 2021 run charts is something not many would have expected at the start of last year, but such has been the near-perfect T20 transformation of the veteran batsman. Across his last 25 IPL games, Dhawan has struck 998 runs and once again on Sunday, versus Punjab Kings, the opener put out a clinical display with the bat to steer his side to victory. The 69 on Sunday handed Dhawan the Orange Cap, and the 35-year-old is now, remarkably, the hot favorite to end IPL 2021 as the top-scorer.
According to Sunil Gavaskar, however, more than Dhawan’s runs, it’s been his discipline that has stood out. Batsmen generally tend to take runs for granted when they’re in form, but Gavaskar noted how Dhawan has simply not gotten into bad habits.
“He has been in tremendous form right from the start of the season. He is carrying his form and he is not taking it easy at all. Sometimes, batsmen tend to take the good form for granted, get into bad habits. But he hasn’t got into any,” Gavaskar was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
54.28 reads Dhawan’s average for this season and that has largely been because he’s adhered to tried-and-tested methods of run scoring. The southpaw has added a mid-wicket slog to his armoury, but he has largely played conventional cricket and has seen himself reap rewards for the same. Gavaskar claimed that Dhawan, this season, has looked like a million bucks and has done so simply by playing orthodox strokes.
“Look at some of his shots. These are the shot which has always got runs. He hasn’t tried to do anything different. These are the shots that he plays in all forms of the games, in the longer formats as well. And they are paying for him and he is looking like a million bucks,” Gavaskar said.
Many a time this season Dhawan perished right before taking his team over the line, but that was not the case on Sunday as the 35-year-old ensured that he stayed put right till the very end. Gavaskar lavished praise on the veteran for doing so and claimed that it is of paramount importance for set batsmen to take the team over the line.
“It’s so important. At the end of the day, a lot of times a set batsman gets out on the 15th or the 16th over and a new batsman has to come in and he doesn’t find it easy. The asking rate might be pretty much run-a-ball at that stage but even a new batsman coming in can find it difficult. So, if you are well set and you want to go, and finish it. And that’s what Shikhar Dhawan did.”