NEW DELHI: The fourth ODI between India and South Africa at the New Wanderers Stadium on Saturday will mark the 100th game for opener Shikhar Dhawan. The 32-year-old made his ODI debut in 2010 and in 99 games has scored 4200 runs at an average of 45.65 with 12 centuries and 25 half-centuries.
On the occasion of his 100th ODI, here’s a recap of Dhawan’s five most influential innings.
114 off 94 balls v South Africa, Cardiff, 2013
In his first ODI for almost two years, Dhawan extended his terrific form with an innings highlighted by crisp strokeplay – he rarely hit the ball in the air – and supreme confidence as India beat South Africa by 26 runs. South Africa fielded four fast bowlers and opted to field but the Powerplay overs consisted off a steady feed of short-pitched bowling which Dhawan cashed in on. The fifty came up in the tenth over courtesy three runs from a firm drive by Dhawan, who then pulled the erratic Rory Kleinveldt for two fours. The second of those was a chance at fine leg, except Morne Morkel completely misjudged the catch.
Dhawan then trained his focus on left-arm spinner Robin Peterson and drove him for consecutive fours, each shot essayed with a big stride forward and clean follow-through. Dhawan got his half-century in 44 balls. Lonwabo Tsotsobe returned to bowl the 24th over and was hit for four and six by Dhawan; Kleinveldt was swatted over square leg for four more and when Tsotsobe dragged short again Dhawan slammed him over midwicket. Dhawan needed just seven deliveries to move from 90 to his century, which came up in 80 balls with another pull off Kleinveldt for four.
102* off 107 balls v West Indies, The Oval, 2013
Following Ravindra Jadeja‘s career-best 5 for 36, Dhawan’s unbeaten 102 hastened an eight-wicket victory over West Indies with 65 balls remaining. Dhawan was reprieved on 23 by Kieron Pollard who put in a terrific dive at point off Darren Sammy, and then on 41 by Kemar Roach at deep fine leg who made a mess of a straightforward catch. He eased past another half-century in 45 balls and kept punishing deliveries that were too short. Sunil Narine was silkily driven past cover and Roach pulled away for boundaries, and Marlon Samuels crashed backward of point. A brief rain interruption was followed by Dhawan reaching his second ODI century with an uppercut six off Dwayne Bravo.
137 off 146 balls v South Africa, MCG, 2015
India’s start to their World Cup opener began on a poor note with Rohit Sharma out for 0 in the third over, but led by Dhawan’s 137 they surged to a match-winning total of 307/7 at the MCG on February 22, 2015. This was the highest by a batsman against South Africa in World Cups, with Dhawan’s innings coming amidst a barrage of short stuff from Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. The left-hand opener counter-attacked brilliantly, driving and cutting with authority, and with a fine hand from Ajinkya Rahane (79 off 60 balls) he took the Indian total well beyond South Africa. The Dhawan-Rahane stand was worth 125 in 16.3 overs.
Dhawan’s seventh ODI hundred featured 6 fours and two sixes and was instrumental in India achieving their maiden World Cup victory against South Africa after having lost in 1992, 1999 and 2011. This was South Africa’s biggest World Cup defeat in terms of runs – by 130 runs.
100 off 102 balls v Australia, Nagpur, 2013
This match will probably be remembered more for Virat Kohli‘s unbeaten 115 off 66 balls as India overhauled a target of 351 but it bore Dhawan’s stamp. Dropped on 19 by Glenn Maxwell, Dhawan set himself up for a crucial innings and with Rohit added 178 for the opening wicket. Once Rohit departed in the 30th over, Kohli took over with a 61-ball century, but Dhawan’s sensible contribution cannot be undermined. His 102-ball 100 was a smart innings highlighted by sensible running and an unfettered ability to pierce the gaps, which allowed Rohit and Kohli to take more aggressive approaches.
132* off 90 balls v Sri Lanka, Dambulla, 2017
Dhawan rounded off a successful year – 960 runs at 48 – with his third century of 2017, and it was an effortless one in which he bullied Sri Lanka’s bowlers from the start. The first of five ODIs in Sri Lanka got underway with India bowling out the hosts for 216 in 43.2 overs, which gave Dhawan the freedom to go hard in the chase. Rohit’s dismissal for 4 had no bearing on Dhawan, who cracked 20 fours and three sixes to gallop India home in 28.5 overs, with Kohli contributing 82 from 70 balls. This was Dhawan’s quickest ODI hundred, coming off 71 deliveries and it allowed India to complete their fourth-highest margin in a successful ODI chase of 200 or more runs.
Source: Google Sports