Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan, who is currently struggling with form and fitness issues, turned 31 on Monday. Here’s a look at some of his memorable performances in international cricket.
187 on Test debut vs Australia: His Test career may be at the crossroads as of now, but his start was nothing short of sensational. At Mohali, in March 2013, he was all over a hapless Aussie attack, en route to creating history. After Australia had posted an impressive 408 on the board batting first, India responded with 499 thanks in main to Dhawan’s stupendous 187. Dhawan smashed the runs off merely 174 balls, and blasted 33 fours and two sixes. Murali Vijay contributed a well-compiled 153 as India went on to win the Test by six wickets.
115 vs New Zealand at Auckland: This was a brilliant innings under pressure, albeit in a losing cause, in the first Test of the series in New Zealand. India were chasing an improbable 407 to win the Test, and got to 366, thanks in main to Dhawan’s brilliant innings. He made 115 from 211 balls with 12 fours and a six. Neil Wagner’s 4 for 62 made the difference. This was the same match in which Brendon McCullum blasted a memorable 224 from 307 balls, and was the man of the match.
114 vs South Africa at Cardiff: This knock came during the Champions Trophy in June 2013. India batted first and posted a healthy 331 for 7. Dhawan led the way with a brilliant 114 from merely 94 balls with 12 fours and a six at a strike rate of 121.27. Rohit Sharma made 56 as the openers added 127. Dhawan was at his free-flowing best. And, although South Africa crossed 300, it was Dhawan’s knock that made the difference.
100 vs Australia at Nagpur: This was the sixth match of the high-scoring ODI series played in India in 2013. Dhawan’s 100 from 102 balls was among the chief contributions as India chased down 351. He hit 11 fours during his breezy knock. Virat Kohli smashed an unbeaten 115 from 66 balls in the same contest while George Bailey made 156 and Shane Watson 102.
137 vs South Africa at MCG: This knock came at the 2015 World Cup where Dhawan was widely expected to struggle. Instead, he was India’s most consistent performer with the bat. Against South Africa in the league game, he stood up with 137 from 146 on his home ground. The knock featured 16 fours and two sixes. Thanks to Dhawan’s brilliance, India made 307 for 7. The bowlers then kept South Africa down to 177 as India won by an impressive margin of 130 runs.
--By A Cricket Correspondent