The last time India opener Shikhar Dhawan picked up the willow was back in January of 2020, when he turned out in second ODI of the three-match series against Australia. Shikhar Dhawan went on to top-score with 96 of 90 balls as India post 340/6 at Rajkot and won the match comfortably by 36 runs.
Since then, like most of the cricketers around the world, Shikhar Dhawan has been sitting on the sideline due to Coronavirus-enforced lockdown in India. Now he has turned up in the United Arab Emirates with the rest of the Delhi Capitals franchise and after the mandatory quarantine period, he turned out for his first net session at the ICC Academy in Dubai on Saturday (August 29).
“It feels great to pad up after a long time and now looking forward to smashing the bowlers,” Shikhar Dhawan said in a video posted on Delhi Capitals’ twitter feed.
“I’ll be in aggressive and attacking mode when I go there. I am probably looking like Zoravar (his son) now – Young!” the 34-year-old said.
The left-handed opener scored 521 runs in 16 games for Delhi Capitals last season at an average of 34.73 and a strike rate of 135.67.
Shikhar Dhawan said he was taking this slowly as he as getting back on the field after a long lay-off.
“It’s a light training session because we are coming back after a long time. We cannot act emotionally but we have to be sensible about it. It’s like taking out a new car, you ideally shouldn’t go beyond the speed of 60km/h,” the Delhi southpaw said.
India teammate and Delhi Capitals paceman Ishant Sharma agreed with Shikhar Dhawan saying, “I’ll give about 50-60% effort in the nets today. We have to start off slow, all experienced players know how to go about it.”
Shikhar Dhawan has 4579 runs in his IPL career till date from 159 games, at an average of 33.42 and strike-rate of 124.80. He was a key player in Sunrisers Hyderabad’s run to the IPL final in 2018, scoring 497 runs in 16 matches with four fifties.
The Delhi Capitals opener was pleased to unleash a new Kookaburra willow as he got into groove for IPL 2020.
“I have about 6-7 bats in my kit, have to go to Australia from here as well. The new bat will take 4-5 net sessions to open up, or less depending on the bats.
“I like all fresh gear – everything is fresh, I don’t have superstitions with the bat,” Shikhar Dhawan said.