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Commentator, television presenter and writer

The contemporary style of Shikhar Dhawan

He's refreshing and fearless, and it will be interesting to see how he negotiates the tough period that inevitably follows a fairytale beginning

Harsha Bhogle

June 22, 2013

Comments: 91 | Text size: A | A

Shikhar Dhawan hits a six over third man to reach his century, India v West Indies, Champions Trophy, Group B, The Oval, June 11, 2013
Shikhar Dhawan: not unlike Sehwag in the simplicity of his batting © Getty Images
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There is to Shikhar Dhawan's batting an utter bluntness. Every ball is a contest and he will take it on, muscling it past cover or through midwicket. There is, merely to illustrate it better, little of the finesse that so marked out another left-hander who made a dramatic entry into international cricket 17 years ago.

Sourav Ganguly came from the land of Ray and Tagore, of poetry and art-house cinema. He caressed the ball through cover, he square-drove, and even when he danced out to spin, it was with an air of nobility. When he sported a moustache, it belonged to an actor from black-and-white movies. You couldn't twirl it, it was just about there.

Dhawan has bulging biceps and tattoos and he clobbers the ball. He could be a farmer singing a ballad while he ploughs his field; not quite SD Burman, more Daler Mehndi. His cover drive is an assault on the ball. I don't know him very well but he probably throws his head back and laughs. He's very contemporary and he is fantastic to watch.

This is not to suggest he is a slogger. Far from it. He stays leg side of the ball, like Sehwag does, has a pretty tight defence, and knows how to build an innings. He will take chances - his generation does - but clearly he now knows what works for him. And like Sehwag he seems to keep his game simple.

The parallels don't end there. He fancies the upper cut, and as we saw against Sri Lanka in the semi-final, if there is a fielder on the third-man boundary, so be it. And I especially like the fact that he is never too far away from a smile, as Junaid Khan discovered when he followed through a little too close after beating him with a really good ball. Dhawan shrugged his shoulders and smiled through the helmet as if to say, "You won that, now let's move on."

I am sure there is a fair bit of steel beneath that exterior, though. There is ambition. When he wasn't selected, he asked the selectors why. But his path is laced with adventure. For far too long he played brisk, short innings; for years he displayed promise but nothing more substantial, and I often wondered if he would let himself become the player he could have been. I don't know how many people knew how good he could be, but everyone knew he could be better. Maybe there was self-doubt, maybe the fear that the future he wanted grew distant and the present didn't feel right, maybe he just needed an anchor in life.

Clearly something has clicked into place, for the ball seems to search out the middle of his bat. It is a great phase but one that is inevitably accompanied by greater scrutiny. Already coaches around the world will be studying him; teams not playing on the day in competitions like this will be discussing theories on how to bowl to him. You saw Lasith Malinga looking to bowl him a bouncer on leg stump, or even further down. When bowled outside off, he can slash hard or play the upper cut, but when on leg stump it seems to cramp him for space. A couple of times he threw bat at ball almost like he was attempting a heave. There will be more, because bowlers are sharp thinkers; they have to be to survive. Currently he is dictating terms but soon he will have to react to their wiles. It is always like that; years two and three are the discovery years.

There is one thing in his favour, though. He doesn't seem to have trouble with pace and bounce in spite of having a ball clatter onto his helmet against South Africa. It is something that will be tested, and very quickly I would imagine, and in the course of time he must find his own way around it. For now, though, he is great fun to watch, refreshing and fearless, with shots on the off side and on, the cut and the pull and the lofted drive to spin. It is a measure of the importance he has already attained that, ahead of the final, he will be the most discussed Indian player in the England camp.

And Ganguly will be watching, thinking doubtlessly about another English summer when bats were thinner, balls were gently placed through cover and tattoos weren't style statements.

Harsha Bhogle is a television presenter, writer, and a commentator on IPL and other cricket. His Twitter feed is here

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Posted by android_user on (June 27, 2013, 0:04 GMT)

We saw very little frm Dhawan, 1 test inning and 5 one day innings he was very good with d bat. Most importantly he was playing like 50 tests and 100 one day old vintage batsmen...

Posted by   on (June 25, 2013, 8:06 GMT)

his smile is amazing .............. it said all about his personality and his confidence. he is walking through purple patch now and let see how he adjust to long run. one attribute of world class player is his longevity....... let see how he could withstand in long run. but for the moment his smile is best of the cricketing world. cheers Dhawan it is treat to watching you.

Posted by TOU_ACE_IPA on (June 24, 2013, 14:06 GMT)

If someone told me a year ago that Dhawan and Rohit sharma would be opening for India I would have asked them to get their head examined...

Posted by rienzied on (June 24, 2013, 4:47 GMT)

Love the way he keeps the bat coming from his body and gets full weight of his shots as a result. .... Bye bye gambir and shewag...

Posted by   on (June 23, 2013, 20:59 GMT)

@Ali Ahmed : He was born in Delhi not in Punjab !

Posted by hhillbumper on (June 23, 2013, 18:15 GMT)

looks like the next greatest ever batsman story has been hatched. Lets see how he goes after a year or two and we will go from there.Has to play against South Africa on their pitches so lets see how he does there

Posted by   on (June 23, 2013, 16:25 GMT)

His cavalier approach to batting reminds me of another aggressive left-hand opening batsman- Saeed Anwar, and possibly a bit of Caribbean greats Gordon Greenidge and Roy Fredericks as well. I'm not comparing Dhawan to any of these greats, just stating that Dhawan belongs to the same 'see-ball-hit-ball' school of batting. I hope he stays true to his style and one day joins these men in the pantheon of cricketing greats.

Posted by alarky on (June 23, 2013, 13:50 GMT)

I really like Shikar Dhawan! Since Viv Richards and Lara, and to a lesser extent Kevin Pietersen, he's the most natural batsman that the world is seeing! He has what it takes to destroy any attack with confidence. When Shikar comes out to bat he means business! He has no fear for any bowler, neither is he too caught up with the fear that he might get out playing good cricket shots. He just goes there and intimidates bowlers. And, as the Great Sunil Gavascar recently said, "Technique is overrated"! Sunny is so right! Shikar's best technique is the one that he is gifted with from birth, as is the case with the Bradman's, Sobers', Viv Richards, Lara's, and KPs - not the one that some English man would want to teach and see manufactured in an institution! Sehwag and Chris Gayle are somewhat similar, but I think that there is a touch of class in Dhawan which would in the long run, make him a little bit more successful than any of these two!

Posted by Unomaas on (June 23, 2013, 13:40 GMT)

I have been impressed with Dawan this Champions Trophy. The real test of his pedigree will be the up and coming tour to South Africa. If he makes an impact there, he would have gone a long way to silencing his detractors.

Posted by   on (June 23, 2013, 13:39 GMT)

Harsha before reading ur article I was very depressed due to personal issues... but while reading I forgot everything else .. I owe you a good 5 minutes of my life .. great writer you are!!

Posted by venkatesh018 on (June 23, 2013, 11:47 GMT)

True Harsha, he looks a mirror image of Virender Sehwag in the technique he adopts and the shots he plays with his body leg side of the ball.

Posted by   on (June 23, 2013, 10:41 GMT)

salam m frm pakistan but i really like dhawan style of batting and his attitude ... when he was playing against pakistan i didnt see any misbehave from him ... may allah give him bright future....

Posted by android_user on (June 23, 2013, 7:51 GMT)

great article.. another image of shikhar dhawan's batting that will always remain with me is an upper cut that he managed to hit for 6 even after stepping out to jaques kallis in ipl..his simple approach summed up very well in the article.. dhawan an exciting talent to watch...

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (June 23, 2013, 7:07 GMT)

It has been great start for another young lefty by India but its a beginning a lot more to go.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (June 23, 2013, 3:53 GMT)

This article is an absolute delight, I love the way harsha has been describing cricket. It's like ball which just left Dhawans bat is talking to us. Thank you harsha, for people like you, the game is always loved like an innocent smile on kids face.

Posted by   on (June 23, 2013, 1:58 GMT)

I am proud of Harsha Bhogle to be hailing from Hyderabad for achieving such great heights in Anchoring, commentating, presenting and writing... I like this article very much... it is as charming as Dhawan's smile...

-Ravindra Peddireddy

Posted by   on (June 23, 2013, 0:51 GMT)

Good article Harsha as always!Thank You Dhawan for entertaining cricket. As much I was surprise as to why this over loading of ODI after a major competition, why Pujara not in the team for the upcoming tri-series?

As for SamRoy- Here goes your hope. SRT has already declared to the world that he is looking forward to his 200th TEST (:-

Posted by nakihunter on (June 23, 2013, 0:38 GMT)

I do not hink Dhawan is a rustic farmer type of cricketer. Yes the Macho mush is a trademark. But his batting is very correct in technique. He has two cover drives - the one with full flow of the bat and the other one where he just punches the ball late with no follow through. Both shots hit the ball under his eyes and along the ground. Unlike Ganguly, Dhawan does not poke at the ball outside off stump. Unlike Sehwag, Dhawan does not dominate his shots with the bottom hand. I think the best think that happened to Dhawan was the ball before he faced one in test cricket ! - tha ball that slipped from the bowlers hand and dislodged the bails while Shikar was out of his crease. I know that with the correct interpretation of the law, Dhawan would NOT have been given out if the bowler appealed. But his mannor seemed to change. Here was a BIG break, luck was on his side and he just seemed to play like he was destined for a great inning. And what an inning it was!

Posted by applethief on (June 22, 2013, 23:57 GMT)

Incidentally, that Image of Dhawan in the article, isn't that of him getting out? I'm sure this is him getting caught at backward point/squarish 3rd man.

Posted by applethief on (June 22, 2013, 23:55 GMT)

The best thing about a player like Dhawan is that he's going to make bowler get better, captains think harder and fielders chew their nails more frequently. A player like him is good for raising the standard of the game. Likewise for Kohli and Pujara. A cut above less impressive players like Raina and Rohit, who have a lot of weaknesses.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 23:49 GMT)

I am amazed this guy didn't get into the team long back. He is better than most players. It just clearly shows that even experts have no clue who will do better in the international arena based on technique and such.

The only thing batters are judged is how well they look when they bat and then they are "talented". If he played more gracefully, he would have been in the team way earlier which is unfortunate.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 19:47 GMT)

Still a long way to go but he will succeed for sure because he is having patience to build his innings at early stage of the innings. But, what about Rohit Sharma ? In every game, he used to throw his wickets mostly because of his laziness to play stroke and ended up throwing his wicket on simple balls also.

Posted by SamRoy on (June 22, 2013, 18:34 GMT)

Well Indian fans and their nostalgia. Sehwag is my all time favourite Indian batsman but he is no longer fit enough to play a long innings. Also his eye-sight has failed him just enough to no longer be a success now. His career is an Indian player is over for me. Even if they give him a few chances he might succeed a couple of times but mostly he will fail. Oh and Tendulkar's career was over two years ago where everyone except him and his most ardent fans did not see the writing on the wall. I hope neither goes to SA for the test team's sake.

Posted by malik_aijaz on (June 22, 2013, 17:21 GMT)

Was going through the article Moustache fever redefines style statement of Indian team at cricket country. Wondering how movies can inspire sportsmen and that to this effect. Well I am talking about Akshay Kumar as Vikram Rathore in Rowdy Rathore. Maybe Wrong or Maybe right or Someone should ask Ravinder Jadeja or Shikhar Dhawan as to who inspired them to keep this type of Moustahaces.

Posted by IAM_SIVAM on (June 22, 2013, 17:06 GMT)

Mr. Harsha.. you are the man! As I read through the article, I am left to wonder about the clarity of thoughts expressed rather than the cricketing finesse of Dhawan!

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 15:46 GMT)

I hope Sehwag makes a comeback into the team and then it would be fun to watch Sehwag and Dhawan as opening combination. That would surely make them the most explosive opening pair.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 15:04 GMT)

Dhawan and Shewag good hitters of the ball. But Dhawan is better on two points, he first get settled in before opening up, which is giving us good starts consistently which is platform for others. Dhawan has good footwork or better than that of shewag which is making Dhawan get runs easily of any bowler. as good ball for others is like a normal delivery to him. Maybe shewag had good footwork when he is young and then lost it as he believed in power to hit the ball.

Posted by stormy16 on (June 22, 2013, 14:57 GMT)

First saw Dhawan in the IPL a few years ago and he looked special then but never really could make an impact at international level thanks to India's big 5. From the little I have seen of him he looks a man on a mission and technically awfully sound and a strong mental game. Yes its early days but in his international career of late he has looked nothing short of a sensation and ironically with all these comparisons to Sewag, may very well result in the end of Sewag.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 14:07 GMT)

Dhawan graps his second oppurnity really well and he is a fearless cricketer and he enjoys his cricket. Its very pleasure to watch the way he bats.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 13:50 GMT)

If Pujara opened with Dhawan, India would have the best openers in ODIs. Rohit should concentrate on tests. Even in tests, Dhawan, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Karthik and R Sharma would make the best 6 in international cricket, only England and SA have the batting to match that (but their bowling is far better). Dhawan and Pujara are in the world top 10.

Posted by Vkarthik on (June 22, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

Thanks for Jinxing Dhawan, Harsha. Head bang.

Posted by Angry_Bowler on (June 22, 2013, 13:30 GMT)

Nice article Harsha, Dawan is future of India, but what about Rohit, what is he doing throwing his wicket after every good start. He is taking his place for granted. If he fails in the Finals, I request you to pen a column on Rohit "The contemporary failure of Rohit Sharma". Hope you are not biased just like the Mumbai cricket lobby.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (June 22, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

Agree with @Romenevans - I hope Indian don't find another Tendulkar or Sehwag, because we want players who play for winning matches not to pile on their record obsession. We need team players like Dhawan, Kohli, Karthick, Yuvi (when 100%) and Dhoni, not superstars like Sehwag and 10dulkar. The superstars piled up personal records, but could not win any major tournament, like World Cup, or Champions Trophy. I say good riddance to those superstars.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 13:09 GMT)

yes he definitely is an icon to watch, but the rumors about him being able to replace the places provided by somebody of the Shewag's caliber are premature. It is always better for someone to catch the bear before selling the skin of it. There is no doubt that he is a wonderful player but as far as i am concerned i see this period of him as a testing period. He is yet to prove himself in different kinds of pitches that the cricket world presents to him.One might say that after being able to cope with the English conditions he would be able to dominate any pitch. But what about playing against proteas on their home soil, facing Jhonson deliveries in his home. So for now, i think, its bettre to stay calm and enjoy his innings in Britain before he finds his ticket to SA.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (June 22, 2013, 13:02 GMT)

While Dhawan is currently playing very well, lets not put him on pedestal and create pressure of unreasonable expectations. Lets see how he performs in the next few years. At the moment he fills the gap created by Viru's non-performance over the last two years. If Dhawan continues to perform, I don't see any chance for Shewag coming back to the team. Both Shewag and Gambhir had ego problems that created tensions in the team. At least for the next couple of years that problem is solved. It will surface as new players consolidate and achieve fame.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 12:36 GMT)

Well Harsha..nice article and well written.

I call this the assault of the JAT brigade...:)

Posted by dravindian on (June 22, 2013, 12:36 GMT)

I can recall instances when kallis,Sachih,gilcrist fell to well directed bouncers bold at them by sreesant, ollanga, rp singh when they were well into their careers. .. what if dhawan falls to one of those... more important here is, if it is not well directed he has ability to lodge the ball in the crowd. . cheers!!!

Posted by CricketChat on (June 22, 2013, 12:35 GMT)

I agree with Harsha's comment, Clearly something has clicked into place, because he looked pretty ordinary when I saw him first few years ago in ODIs in WI. His technique seemed loose and was taking too many chances early in the innings for an opening batsman. After that he kind off the chart to other openers, Vijay, Mukund, etc. Good to see him come back with a bang. Being a left hander is a bonus as well.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 12:27 GMT)

dear @shriram rohit made his debut on the back of scoring a scintilating 309* in domestic season with an avg of 70+. he had a very impressive stint with India A b4 making it 2 senior side. get ur facts right pls. As for his career, he has not struggled but has constantly experimented with his stroke play which has led 2 his frequent failures. he paces his innings beautifully in a 4-day game. unfortunately he made his one day debut first. Wait for his test debut & then nobody will complain. look at virat, dhawan. after tasting sucess at test level, their inning-planning has matured in shorter format as well.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 12:25 GMT)

@Ravi Darira ...you r spot on Sachin is match winner evident from the fact that he gets MOM every 7 th game (2nd ever in world cricket below just Richards' 6) whereas Dravid gets every 24th game - lowest in Indian team...............But in tests their rate is equal at 15 matches

Posted by fullmoonnights on (June 22, 2013, 11:36 GMT)

Absolutely beautiful write up. Having been brought up on a cricketing diet of Neville Cardus, John Arlott and Ronald Mason, it was nostalgic and a sheer delight to imbibe such flowing prose. Its refreshing that India has bold talent like Shikhar Dhawan to face up to the short pitched stuff and also talent like Harsha Bhogle whose silken words leave such a calming imprint on the mind. Keep writing Harsha.. keep writing.

Posted by sameerpurohit on (June 22, 2013, 11:19 GMT)

Harsha makes a good point that every batsman must have a cautious and calculated progress path. The bitter truth of being exposed and have to deal with the intelligence of the bowlers might as well start tomorrow when the the English exploit their conditions. It would be a good statistic for ESPNCricinfo to show dismissals of different batsman on the type of balls e.g. categories- stumped, bowled, lbw, in-swinger, out-swinger etc. to see who fairs well in various categories. It will show the strength and weakness of the batsman.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 11:04 GMT)

Harsha... I enjoy your style of writing... ''Clearly something has clicked into place, for the ball seems to search out the middle of his bat''. Well said...

Talking of Dhawan. He is a great find for India. The credit will go to the IPL without which we would all be still watching Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir, and may be even Yuvraj. Reason being that IPL has given the likes of Dhawan, Rohit, Tiwary to play along with Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir. The Indian public can watch and compare their performances on a level playing field, and this helps the Indian selectors to drop the oldies to give the younger talent a chance to prove their mettle.

This newer generation had to sit it out till the oldies finally retired. So the hunger is greater in them, and they don't want to blow away their chance. That is why you see that even though Dhawan can play like Sehwag, he does not throw away his wicket. He knows that there are many guys waiting to take his place, and the next IPL is just 10 months away.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 10:45 GMT)

@Romenevans - tendulkar won us many more matches than any one else, specially at a time when rest of the batting was bad. If you see the % of the man of the match awards, tendullar is right a the top, and guess who has the lowest amongs INdia's top 6, a legend called Dravid.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 10:36 GMT)

With Dhawan's technique of playing inside the line of ball with open face you are bound to miss a large no of balls & you will even edge a few too but since open face means you are playing in the direction of ball movement the edges found will be of the face of the blade shots which usually go towards gully/ point & usually dont carry but never go to keeper (Who is most likely to take catch otherwise). .............From Cricket purist's viewpoint you will look very ugly at crease but WO CARES ABOUT CRICKET PURIST. It is the output that matters no matter how you achieve it

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 10:25 GMT)

ONLY TECHNICALITIES: COACHING MANUEL DEFINITION OF TIGHT DEFENSE"in order to have tight defense u got to get behind the ball, either leave, defend or middle the ball of all along the ground of appropriate foot". The big question any coach will ask is that how come a batsman who remains leg side of ball & plays high % of lofted shots has tight defense..WELL..ACTUAL DEFINITION OF TIGHT DEFENSE: Avg no of balls (esp good balls) you face before getting out ..Dhawan doesn't get out to good balls so he has tight defense. The easiest way to safely negotiate moving ball is to extrapolate trajectory of every ball to come at middle stump so play inside the line to off stump deliveries if it nips in you middle it so u don't get bold/ lbw if it moves away you simply miss / edge it. EDGE IT?? Even if you edge a ball the probability you will get caught is 10%. Dhawan does this & is very effective. but vice versa if you cover for out swinger & it nips in the probability you get out bold/lbw is 90%.

Posted by raseen1986 on (June 22, 2013, 10:17 GMT)

Shikhar Dhawan solved the opening batsman problem for India, if he continues his good form and maintains good fitness levels then it's a good and happy news for India in 2015 world cup.....

Posted by Kingzzzz on (June 22, 2013, 10:14 GMT)

He may be in top nick but I think he will be found out and just one of those players that has a great start then later of no use. He's not exactly a new born youngster onto the Cricket scene.

Posted by orangtan on (June 22, 2013, 10:11 GMT)

Bhogle spends quite a bit of print-space comparing SD ( not Burman) to SG ( not the ball) but such comparisons are odious. Dhawan, as Bhogle grudgingly admits, is not a slogger; in fact, Sunil Gavaskar commented favorably on his technique while pointing out that temperament outweighs technique every time. He has performed admirably, let's hope he maintains his form instead of predicting a bed of roses or conversely a fall from grace. Certainly nice to see a smiling cricketer replace the ever-pouting dab-artist Gautam Gambhir

Posted by Aristocratt on (June 22, 2013, 10:10 GMT)

Lovely article. An article that goes with India's presence in England now, and 17 years ago. It flows like the old Ganguly cover drive between cover and extra. Having read it, one can throw back the head and put on a smile. Yes, Dhawan's an idea whose time has come.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 9:26 GMT)

Frankly I dont understand, why to compare any newcomer with predecessor. I dont see any point in it. Every individual is different and will think out of box thinking. But our mindset is always on what his predecessor has done. It is too early for anyone to compare Dhawan with Sehwag. There are acid tests in S.Africa this summer, in Australia and yes of course in England on longer and ultimate versions of the game i.e. test cricket. So let's enjoy Dhawan's success before going too much overboard and yes of course the endorsements and advertisements!!! Even seasoned writers/experts like Harsha is comparing is rather disappointing.

Posted by SpinnerSharma on (June 22, 2013, 9:18 GMT)

There was a time, not so long back when Delhi had way too many good players playing on the circuit at the same time. So much so that players like Mithun Manhas and Shikhar Dhawan were not able to get an opportunity to play for India.

Sehwag, Gambhir, Kohli, Dhawan, Manhas, Unmukt Chand, Puneet Bisht, Pawan Negi, Rajat Bhatia, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Amit Bhandari, Parvinder Awana, Yogesh Nagar, Pradeep Sangwan... either represent or have represented Delhi in recent past.

The competition and intensity for cricket in Delhi is huge and all these player and more have such gift that its captivating watching them play at any level.

I had the pleasure of watching club and league matches of players like Sehwag, Gambhir, Manhaas, Dhawan, Kohli, Sharma, Bhatia, Awana etc. when they were still an unknown entity at national level.

Its a pity Manhaas never got India call but good to see Dhawan performing at this level. Wish to see more Delhi young guns get India opportunities soon.

Posted by supacricfan on (June 22, 2013, 9:17 GMT)

fantastic article harsha, dhawan is more than able replacement to sehwag,sehwag can at times be reckless in the sense he can throw his wicket away once he gets a good start especially in ODIs but Dhwan seems to convert his starts and you can see the pain in his face once he gets out!! Ganguly and Dhawan's stroke play stresses the difference in the generations of indian youth,now confident and at the same time arrogance in a good way but saying that ganguly is the one who instilled aggresion in indian players!!

Posted by pitch_it_up on (June 22, 2013, 9:13 GMT)

While Shikhar Dhawan shows plenty of promise & excitement for now and not sure what future holds for him (and thereby for India), one is always sure that an article from Harsha would be awesome!! Simply love your style of observation & analysis. Is this an inspiration from Anant Setalvad - your favorite childhood commentator? Did he have a similar style? Looking forward to next article from you.

Posted by android_user on (June 22, 2013, 9:12 GMT)

The problem with Indian cricket pundits is that start comparing styles and attitude for a player who has played less than 10 match to some one who has done and dusted it. Sure dhawan is talented but to compare him with stalwarts is not doing justice to his talent..

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 9:12 GMT)

@arup_g Please dont talk abt fielding improving. How about Ishanth and Ashwin. I would say Sehwag/Gambhir/Sachin on anyday far better than Ishant,Ashwin

Posted by Romenevans on (June 22, 2013, 9:03 GMT)

@MaruthuDelft - I hope Indian won't ever find yet another Tendulkar, because we want players who play for winning matches not to pile on their record obsession. So im happy that we haven't found another Tendulkar, because moving from one god like superstar was way too difficult another one we won't be able to survive.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 8:50 GMT)

When i get myself little upset i turn on to Cricinfo to read the writers like Harsha Bhogle. This gives immense amount of pleasure reading you sir. Your wordology is something that can't be compared. Shikhar Dhawan is someone who is certainly going to close the way for Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. When i turn on to TV, I love to watch his confidence, his all time smiling attitude and different style statement. He couldn't fancy his chances on the tour of WI. Now this is the high time for him to to secure his berth and serve the Nation. May God give him lot of strength and success i his career.

Posted by PeterJerome on (June 22, 2013, 8:47 GMT)

I really wonder whether such analytic tools and technology is provided to our Indian domestic setup. With the money they have in Indian cricket, they certainly can. This would surely raise the standard of our domestic competition, and put the India caps on their toes whenever they are pooled in to play at the domestic level. Wouldnt be a bad idea either to have ruthless overseas coaches at the domestic level. Would make for interesting viewership and also with great by-benefits. The India caps who get off color internationally then would have a competitive set up to iron out, instead of getting re-selected by only bullying the domestic talent. Food for thought BCCI

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 8:46 GMT)

Dhawan and Rohit are classic examples of selection should be done and should not be done. Rohit was initiated at 18 without any first class experience and he is still struggling even after 85 matches. Dhawan on the other hand is an experienced player at the domestic level who knows his game inside out and you see the results!!!

Posted by arup_g on (June 22, 2013, 7:43 GMT)

People need to stop talking about Sehwag and stop comparing Dhawan to anyone else. He has his own style and will play his own way. Yes it's great to see an attacking Indian opener along the lines of Ganguly and Sehwag, but that's where comparisons should stop.

There is NO way for Sehwag to come back into test or odi team. Look at the improvement in our fielding recently - why? Due to the younger players! Why bring back oldies and ruin that? The future is players like Rahane, Vijay, Rohit, Tiwary etc and not Sehwag, Gambhir etc.

Dhawan is an awesome player but still has a lot to prove. Score runs all over the world then you can consider yourself a great. He seems to have the character to do it but clever bowlers will work him out quickly. He will need go adapt his game. For now, lets all enjoy it and hope for an India win tomorrow

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 7:43 GMT)

Good to hear about Shikar Dhawan, he is a terrific batsman we have seen his batting confidence in champions trophy and really good batsman

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 7:42 GMT)

dhawan done well so far but i still feel that he isn't comfortable against pace and swing...against SL he was beaten by kulasekara plenty of times and he slashes the ball pretty hard which might not work in SA or AUS(test matches)...i won't be surprised if he fails outside sub-continent specially in test matches as i still believe that he hasn't got proper technique to survive on seaming pitches and our another test opener vijay too struggles against good fast bowling on seaming pitches.first let them perform in SA(later this year) and then we can pass the judgement..our openers will score runs outside sub-continent in shorter formats but the same can't be said in longer formats...cricinfo pls publish

Posted by IndiaNumeroUno on (June 22, 2013, 7:38 GMT)

The good thing is... opposition will spend so much time thinking about Dhawan that the likes of Raina, Dhoni and Jadeja will extend the damage :)

Posted by yorkshirematt on (June 22, 2013, 7:32 GMT)

Indeed. We were all impressed with the bloke (i forget his name) who came into the side for the first test against England (and i think he did well before that as well) but he couldn't get a run after the first two tests. And please BCCI. Don't treat this lad like the ECB treated Bairstow. I'm certain BCCI will have more sense

Posted by srupesh86 on (June 22, 2013, 6:52 GMT)

Dhawan play remembers the day's we were waiting to watch Sachin, Dada, Sehwag bat..

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 6:51 GMT)

good article on new entrant shikhar dhavan in the team india squad.he has removed all doubts in indian fans mind namely what will happen in case of non selection/injuries to the players like sehwag/gambhir/yuvraj and all time great sachin.but this fears are gone to major extent looking to the performance of this indian team.in addition to strong and reliable batting lineup,indian bowlers have also proved themselves in this icc tournament and assured indian fans of dominance of india team in odi category of the game.wish all the best for team india for sunday champions trophy final match.

Posted by Qa_ankit on (June 22, 2013, 6:36 GMT)

I like Shikhar's batting style. Also his attitude towards game. But no offence, I still miss Sehwag. I surely would like to see Sehwag and Dhawan batting at top order and then blow other team apart. But i don;t know, whether it will be possible. I still think Rohit can be dropped and Sehwag can be given last chance. Like wise tendulkar and dravid and laxman and Ganguly, he is also some one everyone would remember. The time when there were 5 greats batting in the middle and no body was confident about thier bowling infront of them. Miss that arena.. Like the newbies but that time is great. And as Sehwag, only man to hit two triple Centuries. So just hoping for the best.

Posted by Pathiyal on (June 22, 2013, 6:35 GMT)

less of the edge, more of the meat - thats what is dhawan for me. but i hope he continues that way. styles - doesnt matter as long as he goes on with his healthy score.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 6:30 GMT)

I liked the way Shikhar Dhawan batted so far during the ongoing ICC championship. He has the ability to hammer and also build long innings. The current Indian opening pair has been very consistent and allowed all the games look very easily won. Let "Dhawan" be "Dhawan" and flourish, let the comparisons be subdued. One thing I appreciate now is the absence of Sehwag and Gambhir. Let them prove themselves to be back in the Indian team, excellent as batsmen, humble as team mates and less arrogant as individuals. All the very best to Shikhar!

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 6:15 GMT)

Only if he was born Just a few hundred kilometers on the other side of Punjab. Serious talent should be applauded, not matter where you are from

Posted by sams235 on (June 22, 2013, 5:58 GMT)

After a long long time I really love enjoy seeing a player bat that majestically as Dhawan does. He reminds me a bit of Ganguly (as you have mentioned), and a bit of Ponting. He is amazingly cool and calm when he bats. I hope is consistent and gets to break every record in the book.

Posted by Dharm_Guru on (June 22, 2013, 5:45 GMT)

Nice article. Shikhar Dhawan has been a suprise package for many teams, just the way Virender Sehwag announced his entry into international cricketing arena. While both of them are fearless, Dhawan looks to be a touch more solid and composed. But other teams have definitely taken note of this talented batsman and they will watch him more closely henceforth. That's how it works. Once oppositions start planning, the real challenge lies in how to answer those by continuing to play aggressively! All the best Shikhar Dhawan!

Posted by IndianInnerEdge on (June 22, 2013, 5:39 GMT)

Nice article harsha, yes his smile is endearing and he appears to have a laidback, almost carribean way of life about him , also this is reflected in his batting. Hope he goes big, and goes the distance....for the time being....Hope he becomes 'the Shikari' and blasts the bezeesus off those in red on sunday!

Posted by loke_cricfan on (June 22, 2013, 5:32 GMT)

Chances of Shewag coming into national team is low. But if Shewag and Dhawan opens, wants to see how the scoring will be, even in tests. Waiting this to happen. Common Shewag we are waiting to see you in the National Team. You still have 2-3 years of Intl cricket...

Posted by Emancipator007 on (June 22, 2013, 5:20 GMT)

2. Similarly, Ganguly being the supreme hand-eye confidence player would doubtless have been much more superior skill-wise in his youth b/w 19 (when he was unfairly dropped after just 1 ODI in OZ) & 24 when he made a comeback. Imagine the ODI runs he lost out and to be labeled an-all-time great with combined international runs tally crossing 20,000 like SRT,Dravid,Ponting,Lara,Kallis. And during his forced exile Gang was belting domestic attacks in Deodhar trophies (shown on Doordarshan) with same supreme ease as he did for India; and ordinary bats played for India in middle order in ODIs in early-90s. B.Vijay of Times of India had reckoned that Gang perhaps lost out on 4000-6000 runs for India cos of politics when he was b/w 19-24.Badani (with Bevan's finishing qualities) is another who deserved a longer run along with Sandeep Patil in 80s-both hardly getting the innumerable chances that Raina gets.

Posted by Emancipator007 on (June 22, 2013, 5:17 GMT)

1.Serious questions need to be asked about the late timing of Dhawan's entry into international cricket.Have read the most derisive comments by fans, pundits,analysts about his "no-chance-for-success" for India. How is the same bat showing remarkable ease at playing pace, superb bat swing, feet movement & supreme confidence? I clearly remember a story where it was mentioned that among Under-19 World Cup stars, only Dhawan won't make it and would be relegated to being a domestic performer. Does this mean Amol Mujumdar,Bhaskar Pillai, Abhijit Kale (supreme defensive technique and in same class as SRT/Kambli in youth cricket) were unfortunate not to get a shot at international glory? And there has always been an opening to be Sehwag's partner right thru 2000s as Gambhir's reintroduction came much later. Plus Tendukar rested in many ODIs;so prime years of Dhawan were perhaps lost.

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (June 22, 2013, 5:14 GMT)

This article depicts Shikar as someone who hasn't displayed extraordinary talent. However another one appeared a short time ago finds him and Kartik as batsmen with great flair. Even Virat Kohli has his doubters. India doesn't seemed to have found a Tendulkar or Dravid yet.

Posted by Vinaypal on (June 22, 2013, 4:55 GMT)

He is definitely fearless and he backs himself, plays with his natural instincts. All in all plays on his strengths. Nice to see indian team in contention of a ICC trophy and that to in foreign conditions. The self belief and the passion can be seen in the eyes of the players. They have the intent and can easily see its the best fielding unit I have ever seen. Shikhar is intelligent enough to strengthen the weaknesses around him. And the big test is neat to face the best bowling line of CT2013 on sunday. If he can get a steady partnership with Rohit and see of anderson; India will be the favourites.

Posted by Sir_Ivor on (June 22, 2013, 4:42 GMT)

I believe that his fairy tale beginning was in 2004 when was the man of the series in the U 19 WC. After that he saw reality and has now arisen. If fortune has finally turned in his favour, I think it will be for a while. I think Shikar should do well if he can master his ball leaving technique outside the off stump.It will be particularly necessary against Anderson and Broad today since they bowl right handed. The short ball will not put him in a spin from what we have seen. Dhawan was born for a better time at the top than a 9 year wait that he has undergone. He is already 27. Hopefully he has matured enough to know that he should make the best of his good luck. So I wish him the very best.

Posted by Romenevans on (June 22, 2013, 4:37 GMT)

We have seen plenty of attacking batsmen in past, but the best thing i noticed in TheOne is he respect and leave good balls, unlike sehwag who just go after everything and end up edging. Its the defense with attack that will take him long way.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 4:37 GMT)

That smile with Junaid was interesting. Dhawan is just awesome!

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 4:33 GMT)

An excellent one Harsha...

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 4:17 GMT)

Well right,that bowlers and coaches will study him and test him with the things he is not at comfortable at. But at the same time, good player also keep evolving and he will also learn the way to tackle them. That is the way, great modern bowlers survived by keep adapting themselves despite all modern scrutiny! Sehwag had also been written off by many in his first year only citing his feet movement, urge of hitting the balls etc etc, but he survived test of time. Good thing for Indian cricket is that off late we have got some good long term batsmans like Kohli, Pujara and Dhawan. Our wait was very long as we did not get any good batsman after 2001 (Sehwag's debut).

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 4:05 GMT)

I remember when Ganguly burst on the scene, his off side play enthralled me. I could watch him bat for hours and initially the bowlers didn't know what to do - he rendered the entire theory of bowling in the corridor useless. The captains began packing the offside field, almost two gullies, short cover, etc yet he still threaded gaps. Then when the trip to Australia began, chin music was bandied but in a rain shortened game in Brisbane, he hit a brilliant century. Shikhar seems to have the same steel in him and he should triumph like Dada.

Posted by android_user on (June 22, 2013, 4:04 GMT)

yeah dhawan could makeup dadda but dadda's swing bowling asset missed alot in team india thatswhy even MSD trying to roll his finger.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2013, 3:39 GMT)

Shikhar Dhawan style of batting is all about self confidence. He seems to be on a roll. When law of averages catches up when half chances he gives starts to get held more often, thats when he will get tested.

Posted by android_user on (June 22, 2013, 3:31 GMT)

in my oppenian shikhar is long racess horse , he does well his job .

Posted by Kapil_Dev_S on (June 22, 2013, 3:09 GMT)

The way Shikhar Dhawan bats and the way Harsha Bhogle writes: both are awesome. Perfectly written article for a perfect person, by a perfect person!!!

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Harsha BhogleClose
Harsha Bhogle Harsha Bhogle is one of the world's leading cricket commentators. Starting off as a chemical engineer and going on to work in advertising before moving into television, he is also a writer, quiz host, television presenter and talk-show host, and a corporate motivational speaker. He was voted Cricinfo readers' "favourite cricket commentator" in a poll in 2008, and one of his proudest possessions is a photograph of a group of spectators in Pakistan holding a banner that said "Harsha Bhogle Fan Club". He has commentated on nearly 100 Tests and more than 400 ODIs.

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