The Shikhar Dhawan juggernaut rolls on. Ever since he burst into international cricket in the third Test against Australia last March with a magnificent 187 off 174 balls, the left-handed opener has been unstoppable. The 150-ball 248 against South Africa A in their backyard was another testimony to his growing stature in international cricket.
“He is a world class batsman. His form over the past 12 months or so has been as good as anyone in world cricket,” said Sunrisers coach Tom Moody.
What has led to this sensational transformation from a good domestic batsman to an excellent international batsman? Moody feels Dhawan’s maturity and work ethic have come in line. “He is very clear on what he wants to achieve, he is an extremely hard worker. He is very thorough in his preparation. When you have someone who has those professional standards, along with a lot of natural ability, he is destined to perform consistently at the high level. And it’s opportunity as well. There are a lot of good players out there in the world who do the right things and work hard but don’t get the opportunity,” he said.
Moody said Dhawan got the little opening in Mohali against the Australians and took it with both hands. “He hasn’t looked back.”
The Australian feels Dhawan is getting better as a captain too. “He is going to blossom in every single game that he plays. I thought his leadership was excellent. The positive thing about Shikhar is that whether he is captaining or whether he is batting, he constantly wants to improve. He is always asking questions, he is always wanting to develop his game and himself. So from a coaching point of view, it is a pleasure to work with people who have that open mind and are prepared to grow as people.”
Moody felt Dhawan’s presence makes Sunrisers a better side. “You are talking about a world class batsman. His form over the past 12 months or so has been as good as anyone in world cricket. Suddenly when he comes in the top of the order, you are a better side.”