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Shikhar Dhawan’s lean patch ahead of World Cup worries former India cricketers

In the current ODI series, Dhawan fell for zero in the first match to pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan. (Photo by Kerry Marshall/Getty Images)

He hasn’t hit a fifty in any form since scoring 66 against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui in January. India opener Shikhar Dhawan has appeared in nine international games since then – five ODIs and four T20Is – and his highest score in these matches is 30. In the only T20I and two ODIs he has played so far against Australia at home in the ongoing series, the southpaw has done ordinarily. With two months and a half to go for the World Cup, Dhawan’s form has left the experts worried.

Dhawan finished as the top scorer in Asia Cup in September with two hundreds and was picked as the Man of the Series. But since then, the Delhi batsman has managed just 376 runs in 15 matches at an average of below 29 and he has scored only two fifties in this period. Since India are doing well as a team at the moment, winning every series, Dhawan’s off form is not being scrutinised too much but the team management knows that for India to be successful in the showpiece event, he has to deliver, along with the likes of his opening partner Rohit Sharma and captain Virat Kohli.

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Dhawan has scored zero and 21 in the current ODI series

In the current ODI series, Dhawan fell for zero in the first match to pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile while in the second, he was picked by part-time spinner Glenn Maxwell after he overcame the initial challenges.

Former India players Aakash Chopra and Vijay Dahiya, who have also played alongside Dhawan in first-class cricket, agreed that the left-hander is going through a lean patch but they also feel that the former Test opener also has it in him to turn the tables around when it would matter. Dhawan had a good outing in his maiden World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2015 when he slammed two centuries. This time, he looks to do even better.

Another former India cricketer Deep Dasgupta also felt Dhawan is going through a bad patch but added that Dhawan has always found ways to score runs. “There is no denying Dhawan is going through a bad patch but with only three international matches left, I don’t see any drastic changes happening,” Hindustan Times cited reports as quoting Chopra as saying ahead of the third India-Australia ODI in Ranchi on Friday.

“If he has scored 5000 plus ODI runs (5199 from 125 games), it means that he has been around for a reasonable period of time, seen ups and downs to have scored that many runs. His record in multi-nation tournaments (World Cup, Champions Trophy, Asia Cup) is fabulous, so it could well be a matter of time that he is back in form.”

“I won’t say technique is a big issue here as the boundaries that he got were all in-front of the wicket. May be not on the off-side but those were not behind the stumps shots either,” said Dahiya.

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