Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar lauded Shikhar Dhawan after his brilliant 98 in the first ODI against England which was played at the MCA stadium in Pune. India won the match by 66 runs thanks to his efforts and the bowling of Prasidh Krishna, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Shardul Thakur.
Virat Kohli made 56, while Krunal Pandya and KL Rahul slammed whirlwind half-centuries to help India go past the 300-run mark. Krunal Pandya hit the fastest ODI fifty on the debut of just 26 balls, paying tribute to his late father, while KL Rahul showed his return to form.
Gavaskar pointed out that there has been so much talk about Shikhar Dhawan’s age and potential availability for the next 50-over World Cup, scheduled to be held in 2023, and that it was nice to see the Delhiite to recover from poor form and perform well for India.
To Forget All That And Focus On What He Can Do Best Was Good To See From Shikhar Dhawan: Sunil Gavaskar
Shikhar Dhawan kept the scoreboard ticking with captain Virat Kohli after Rohit Sharma fell early. He added 100-plus runs with the captain at a good pace, increasing the run rate of the team as well.
“Yes, there has been so much talk about his age. He is 35 and he will turn 36 in December. ‘Should he be there for the next World Cup look at 2023?’ All that talks would have been around. To forget all that and focus on what he can do best was good to see. Also, to have Rohit Sharma with whom he had terrific partnerships around would have been of great help,” Gavaskar told Star Sports on Tuesday.
Good To See A Team Man Succeed: Sunil Gavaskar
The left-hander was at his elegant best, hitting 11 boundaries and 2 sixes during the match-winning knock. Dhawan was able to tackle the England pacer swiftly and once set, took the attack to England spinners in the middle overs.
“This time around Rohit was not as fluent as he normally is. Shikhar took the initiative to keep the scoreboard moving. Once he middled a few shots, his confidence returned. His confidence was sky-high after that and then he started playing shots that we know he is capable of. Good to see somebody who works hard, somebody who the captain said is a fine team man, succeed,” the former India captain said.
The second ODI will be played on March 26 in Pune.