Ajay Jadeja lauded Shikhar Dhawan for reinventing himself while batting alongside a budding youngster like Shubman Gill in recent times in West Indies and in Zimbabwe. Jadeja also highlighted that Sachin Tendulkar did the exact same thing when he was around young Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, and others.
In July last year, Shikhar Dhawan was appointed as India's stand-in captain for the second-string side for their Sri Lanka tour. There, Dhawan led them well with plenty of youngsters and since then, he has been continuously leading the Men in Blue whenever they need to send somewhere a second-string side. His recent assignment was in West Indies for a three-match ODI series which they won by 3-0.
Dhawan was supposed to lead India in the ongoing Zimbabwe series as well. However, due to KL Rahul's return, he was named his deputy at the 11th hour. Yet, it did not make any impact on his form as his mature 113-ball 81 not out helped India win the first ODI against Zimbabwe by all ten wickets on Thursday.
Around Dhawan, Shubman Gill has been batting brilliantly at the top since the West Indies tour. Gill won the Player of the Series award for his consistency in the Caribbean and began the Zimbabwe tour with an unbeaten 72-ball 82 after coming to chase a lowly target of 190 in Harare. During the post-match show, Ajay Jadeja explained how Dhawan has been reinventing himself while batting alongside Gill and compared the veteran with Sachin Tendulkar, who used to do the same when youngsters like MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh first came in limelight.
"There will always be a period where you are re-energised and you've got to change your game because the next generation is always quicker, faster, smarter. And they always push you. A good example is going back to Sachin Tendulkar. Think of him when Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni and all these guys came in. He did exactly the same thing in his career. He had to reinvent himself, changed the pace at which he was playing the game to keep up with the younger lot," Jadeja said during the post-match show.
"You've got to catch up. Sometimes as a senior player you tend to take it easy, you've been around for so long... You stagnate at a certain place. But when that next generation comes, it starts pushing you. The first time was when Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly came in and the next change was when Yuvraj, Sehwag and Dhoni came in. And you can see the same with Shikhar."
India will next play against Zimbabwe at the same venue on August 20.