Shikhar Dhawan came into this IPL, having last played a cricket match in January.
Due to injury, Dhawan fell off the radar a bit and wasn’t spoken about much this IPL season.
The last year has been a tough one for him. He injured himself while playing Australia in the world cup in a match that turned out to be his last in the tournament.
He made a comeback to get injured again and has been having a series of injuries, making it challenging for him to be on the national side for an extended period.
There wasn’t much spotlight put on him this IPL season.
Playing for the Delhi Capitals and being one of the senior-most players, the attention was solely on the youngsters in the side.
With talented players like Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw, and Rishabh Pant and international superstars like Hetmyer and Marcus Stoinis, Shikhar Dhawan was not noticed much.
The start that he had to the IPL helped take away the little attention he may have had on him.
He scored 135 runs in the first six games without making a fifty. He wasn’t scoring at his usual rate.
Throughout the initial stages, his ability to pierce the gaps for comfortable boundaries wasn’t seen.
He looked more like an accumulator rather than the aggressive opener we are used to seeing.
His first fifty was against the Mumbai Indians. He made 69 off 52 balls, batting through the innings and just looking to hold one end.
He struggled to find the boundary after the powerplay while his side could only get 162.
While his fifty was still not in the usual Shikhar Dhawan style that we are used to seeing, It undoubtedly helped his confidence.
He scored a string of 20s and 30s until the seventh match and could not convert his start as he did against the Mumbai Indians.
He went on to make another 50 against the Royals. This time he scored much faster and was looking more like his usual self. He made 57 off 33 and was dismissed in the 12th over.
Against the Super Kings in the next game, Dhawan played what could be his best IPL innings.
Chasing 180 with wickets falling in the powerplay, Dhawan was on another level.
The pitch wasn’t the easiest to bat on, but Dhawan managed to find the boundary consistently.
While his teammates struggled to get going, Dhawan stood till the end and finished with 101 off 58 deliveries.
It is his first IPL hundred. His hundred only had one six but contained fourteen boundaries.
Many boundaries can indicate how Dhawan kept the ball along the ground beautifully and went through his innings with little risk.
He was helped by the CSK fielders, who dropped him a few times, but Dhawan still managed to keep the ball along the ground for most of his innings.
If his innings against CSK was considered the best, Dhawan proved he can still go better.
He made another century against the Kings XI Punjab in the very next game. He finished with a score of 106 of 61 balls.
There were fewer chances given by Dhawan, and he looked more fluent throughout the innings.
His teammates again struggled to get around him as he made 106 of the 164 runs scored by the Delhi Capitals.
He is now the first player to make a century in two consecutive games in the IPL.
His efforts were exceptional, but his teammates’ lack of support resulted in a defeat for the Delhi Capitals.
It took him four games to become the most noticed player in the Delhi Capitals, having started as a player who was not discussed much by spectators this season.
He made 333 runs in his last four innings and was only dismissed once. Dhawan showed that he can be consistent and is now enjoying a dream run after a year of injuries.
His strike-rate kept getting better with each innings as he was more fluent. He is now the second-highest run-scorer of IPL 2020 and is hot on Rahul’s trails for the orange cap.
In a team where youngsters form the core, Dhawan showed how an experienced player like him can still be the best among the youngsters.
If Dhawan can maintain his consistency while the other members of the Delhi Capitals can regain their form, the Delhi Capitals, who are already on top of the table, will be even more unbeatable.