Shikhar Dhawan, also known as ‘Gabbar‘, has had really great numbers with the bat of late, having registered eleven 50+ scores across all formats till date in 2017. This is also the most number of 50+ scores for him in a single calendar year (all formats combined).
After having a little success with the bat in the year 2016, he has found his rhythm with the bat to get some big scores against his name in 2017. Dhawan has scored a total of 1,379 runs in 2017 at an average of 47.55 which is much higher than his career average of 40.36. He has scored 4 centuries and 7 half-centuries so far in this year.
To quote a few highlights in 2017, Gabbar has scored 338 runs in the Champions Trophy 2017 which helped India reach the final for the second consecutive time!
Much to the delight of an Indian fan, Dhawan has scored 126 runs in a single session (between Lunch and Tea) of a Test match in Sri Lanka at Galle. He eventually ended up scoring 190 runs on that day which helped India to get to 399/3 on Day 1, their record total on Day 1 in an away Test!
But was Dhawan as good with the bat in 2017 as his stats suggest?
Lets find out!
We have made a break up of his batting stats across all formats combined in 2017. Dhawan’s batting average against Sri Lanka alone is 77 this year, while his average against all other teams combined is just 31. He has scored 775 runs against Sri Lanka in just 11 innings at an average of 77+ with four centuries and a half-century.
On the other hand, against all other countries combined, he managed to score only 604 runs in 20 innings at an average of just 31 with just 6 scores of fifty-plus. Take a look:
|All other countries combined||20||604||31.79||0/6|
- 190 vs Sri Lanka in a Test; venue: Galle
- 132* vs Sri Lanka in an ODI; venue: Dambulla
- 125 vs Sri Lanka in an ODI; venue: The Oval
- 119 vs Sri Lanka in a Test; venue: Pallekele
- 94 vs Sri Lanka in a Test; venue: Eden Gardens
The whole cricket world knows how the Sri Lankans have been struggling with both bat and ball in the recent past. Can the performances solely against Sri Lanka make Shikhar Dhawan a good batsman? I certainly think not!
When Murali Vijay was injured just days before flying to Sri Lanka in July this year, Indian selectors couldn’t think of a opening batsman other than Shikhar Dhawan.
The tough away tours of South Africa and England coming up in January and July respectively next year. What if either Rahul or Vijay, India’s best opening pair, gets injured? Will the Indian selectors point their finger once again towards Dhawan who is ineffective except against Sri Lanka ?!
Shouldn’t selectors give opportunities to players other than Dhawan, like Abhinav Mukund? Or Gautam Gambhir? There are too many questions at the moment, but only time can reveal the answers. For now, lets just hope India will do good in the away tours to come.