IPL 2019: Sanjay Manjrekar credits Ricky Ponting for Shikhar Dhawan’s turnaround
Dhawan has found form after starting poorly in the season.
Updated - Apr 21, 2019 1:16 pm
Shikhar Dhawan has been delivering consistently for the Delhi Capitals in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The southpaw returned to the franchise this season after Delhi traded him with Sunrisers Hyderabad. Dhawan’s calm influence at the top of the order has helped Delhi put up their best performance in recent years this season. The Delhi-based franchise now looks set to progress ahead of the group stage for the first time since 2012.
But while Dhawan has been among runs, he did face some criticism early on during the competition for using too many balls upfront. Delhi coach Ricky Ponting had then publicly expressed his displeasure over Dhawan’s scoring-rate. Ponting’s comments had come after Dhawan scored 51 from 47 deliveries during the six-wicket defeat against defending champions Chennai Super Kings.
“In an ideal world, we would have liked Shikhar Dhawan to have scored a little bit quicker, but we could see it was difficult for him. He hurt his ankle as well while batting. His usual running between the wickets was also hampered,” Ponting had said.
Dhawan soon responded by playing a match-winning knock of 97 from just 63 deliveries against Kolkata Knight Riders and has not looked back since then. On Saturday, the southpaw proved his worth again as he smashed 56 to help Delhi Capitals beat Kings XI Punjab by 5 wickets. Delhi Capitals have now won 6 of their 10 games and have a strong chance of making it to the playoffs.
Manjrekar credits Ponting
Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar, however, believes that Ponting is instrumental in Shikhar Dhawan’s remarkable turnaround as a T20 batsman. He said that Dhawan is a better T20 batsman now because of the Delhi Capitals’ coach.
“Needed a Ricky Ponting to shake Shikhar out of his comfort zone. Far too many coaches pander to the wishes of star players. Dhawan is a better T20 batsman now thanks to Ricky,” Manjrekar tweeted.
Needed a Ricky Ponting to shake Shikhar out of his comfort zone. Far too many coaches pander to the wishes of star players. Dhawan is a better T20 batsman now thanks to Ricky.#DCvKXIP
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) April 20, 2019
Captain all praise for Dhawan
Following the game against Kings XI Punjab, Delhi skipper Shreyas Iyer, who scored an unbeaten 58, lavished praise on Shikhar Dhawan. The right-handed batsman said that Dhawan’s fearless cricket has helped the team this season.
“Dhawan is playing fearless cricket right throughout the season and that’s helping us. Either of the top four batsmen has to stay there till the end and take the team through. I took the responsibility today and I hope to continue that in the matches to come,” said Iyer in the post-match presentation.