Champions Trophy 2017 June 8, 2017

Does Dhawan raise his game for ICC tournaments?

ESPNcricinfo staff
The numbers seem to say so, but as always, there is more to it than meets the eye
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Dhawan's golden run in ICC tournaments

History of big-tournament success
Shikhar Dhawan's average in the Champions Trophy is now 92.66, thanks to big performances in the 2013 edition and a century against Sri Lanka in the ongoing one, but his love affair with ICC tournaments began long ago. In the 2004 Under-19 World Cup, he scored 505 runs at an average of 84.16, with three centuries in seven innings.

© ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Top of the table since 2013
His next world tournament was the 2013 Champions Trophy in England, and he averaged 90.75 at a strike rate of 101, with two hundreds in five innings. He was the leading run-getter and won the Man-of-the-Series award. Then came the 2015 World Cup in Australia, where Dhawan scored 412 at 51.50 at a strike rate of almost 92. His eight innings in the tournament included 73 against Pakistan and 137 against South Africa. He was India's highest run-getter in the tournament and fifth overall. After scoring a half-century and hundred in the first two games of this year's Champions Trophy, he is well ahead of everyone else in the list of leading run-getters in big ODI tournaments since 2013.

Dhawan is more than 200 runs ahead of everyone else in ICC tournaments since 2013 © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

So, does he raise his game for big events?
His average in big ODI tournaments is 69.14, which is much higher than his overall ODI average of 44.36, so it would appear so. But you have to take a few things into account. First, his performances in World T20s has been poor - he averages 10.57. So he clearly doesn't perform above par in all big tournaments across formats.

Also, his form coming in to the last two Champions Trophy competitions has been good. He was the third highest run scorer in IPL 2017, and back in 2013, he came into the Champions Trophy on the back of an impressive IPL and a century on debut in Tests. So it was more about him continuing productive patches than lifting his performance. But before the 2015 World Cup, he had had a poor Test and ODI series in Australia. He managed to improve dramatically during the World Cup, which was played in the same conditions.

Dhawan's 114 off 94 balls against South Africa in the first game of the 2013 Champions Trophy helped India reach 331 and start the tournament with a win. In India's next game, they had to chase West Indies' 233 and Dhawan made it easy with a century. In the 2015 World Cup, India's biggest win was against much-fancied South Africa in the group stages, and Dhawan set it up with 137 off 146 balls. That knock came on the back of his fifty against Pakistan, which also contributed to a win. In the 2017 Champions Trophy, his 125 off 128 balls against Sri Lanka took India to a total of 321.

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  • MANEESHROYwinner on June 10, 2017, 18:06 GMT

    Can Shikhar Dhawan score 100 off 60 balls against ENG or SA ? Can Shikhar Dhawan play like Eoin Morgan or Benjamin Stokes played today in first twenty overs against Australia? Present Indian openers are too slow in comparison to S.Tendulkar, S.Ganguly, V.Sehwag. Strike rate with nice contribution is most important for opening batsman. We lost WC2015 because of bad opening.

  • NCP1 on June 10, 2017, 11:44 GMT

    Team India's problem was exposed by SL. India is not aggressive enough and tend to relax when they see a good start. They are always worried about being bowled out and go so slow that it is hard to make up run rate later with falling wickets. Opening batsman should quickly figure out the pitch and set decent total in mind. With SL game a total of 350 was on card but Yuvi started slow and then MS is happy with run a ball, waits till 45th over or so to go hard when all the bats man like Pandya and Jadeja are still to come. 300 is not a winning score on easy pitch.

  • Dee Pak on June 10, 2017, 11:39 GMT

    He is a selfish player who is playing for his place only.. Going with 60-70 SR in powerplay then making 100 with 100 SR n getting out is stupidity.. It wont help to the team

  • Joby_George on June 10, 2017, 4:45 GMT

    Indian batting has depth and the batsmen are doing well. But again, the first power-play needs to be improved. Agree with the fact that the openers are too keen not to lose any wickets in the first power play. But they should at least score at 6 runs per over and rotate the strike. Rohit sharma is very slow and consumes lots of dot balls. If India could score bit more fast in the match against srilanka and made made another 25-40 runs, the result could have been different. Was surprised with the way srilanka batted, they had self belief in them self and iam sure this young team is not gonna let them down in the future. Anyway, CT is going to be on an interesting second phase, must win matches coming up for Aus, Ind, Pak, SL & SA.

  • swarzi on June 9, 2017, 21:51 GMT

    @LBW_RB: You have made a very important point; and I think that @DANGEROUS11 made a very competent reply. In fact, it appears that @DANGEROUS11 has been reading my mind. The bowling attack that I have selected only needs 2 or 3 part time bowlers. The 4 main bowlers that I picked are the very best that have played ODI cricket; with Akram the best fast bowler in all formats which he played, and Muralitheran the greatest human who has ever bowled a ball. We all know about the prowess of Malinga, and for those who are too young to know, Joel Garner is the most accurate Yorker bowler the game has ever seen - and they were not slow Yorkers - they were all fast and deadly. And regardless to what score the team from Mars makes as a result of the tepid part timers, this batting team with the likes of Viv Richards and Kohli will make it with consummate ease - these are the best, you will find anywhere on planet earth. Note also that no ODI team on earth is complete without MS Dhoni.

  • Rakesh.Sinha on June 9, 2017, 21:44 GMT

    he is playing to slow now a days. very slow in start of innings harm india in a loss against Sri Lanka.

  • Cricguru on June 9, 2017, 21:05 GMT

    He is so over-rated. Its a batting paradise. Average players are scoring big runs, even hundreds to create upsets, while we sing praise for Shikhar Dhawan, who plays more to cement his place in the side than for the team. Playing less than a run a ball in the first 10 overs and then somehow hitting a few shots to reach 100 SR is not really helping India. Even minor players play run a ball. Nothing special about that. If he really wants to make an impact a 30 ball 50 would help.

  •   Buvnesh Bhuvi Justin on June 9, 2017, 19:36 GMT

    @Swarzi..U provide your best 11,,let me provide the 11 in the recent past.. as per cricket experts these are the talented players..but definitely this team cannot win as all are the most selfish cricketers and worst bowlers i have seen in the recent past. And this is the kind of team which will score 240-2 for 50 overs even in the flatest pitches 1.Dhawan 2.Rahane 3.Azar ali 4.Chandimal 5. Hafeez 6.Rayudu 7.Axer patel 8.Stuert binny 9.wahab riaz 10.Ishant sharma 11.Mohit sharma.. Dhawan and rahane are the most selfish players i have ever seen. Cricket is changed these days..Dhawan player 128 balls for his 123 in a cement road..if it was sehwag he would have score a 200. In the same pitch england would have scored around 400. Always india is 30 runs short in any flat wicket. And finally all the blame is on the bowlers. It was indian batters who lost the game not the bowlers. Pant should open with KL rahul and rohit to bat at 4.

  • naishadh482 on June 9, 2017, 19:19 GMT

    @ALEXK400: Whats your point? Clearly you dont know the game better. SL was the only the second instance when the team lost after Dhawans century. Moreover houw can you relate team result based on a batsman's performance? IS Dhawan supposed to bowl 10 overs after he scored century? He did his job period. Our bowlers had a bad day. Also I think Dhawan's bad from in once format get carried over to the other format by people who play the game, which is an outright mistake. Pujara doesnt play ODI, does that mean he is a bad test batsman? Dhawan may have failed in few tests (Test record is still impressive though), but he is still the best proper opening batsman in teh country before Rahul. Look at the ODI record. P.S majority of his centuries have come overseas, so no more debate there as well. Support him if he is in Indian team if you support the team, dont get behind his neck!

  • crixatin on June 9, 2017, 19:09 GMT

    His performances have been exceptional but I would like to point to a big chink in his armor given the current state of the game. His approach to batting might have been good 4-5 years ago but for the last couple of years it is acting as a false positive. Given the fast paced game and the important position he plays at, we need to look at a very important number which is "the percentage of dot balls" in an innings. Dhawan is invariably on the higher side. Agreed that he plays in P1 and scores big but he isn't able to cover up for his dots by raising his strike rate. His approach during over 25-40 hurts India badly (given there are only 4 fielders outside). Maxwell had criticized India for this approach in ODI series in Australia in 2016 and it was evident against Sri Lanka as well. He setups a good base but it isn't enough for modern game. He needs to go into 5th gear post 25-30 over mark and cover up like Rohit, Virat or MSD! I have a fear that his scores hide this weak point of his.

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