24 June, 2021

A Flame Singes The Pitch

Shikhar Dhawan swaggers again in his old, English hunting grounds

Photograph by AP
A Flame Singes The Pitch

It’s curious how, by a fortuitous accretion of good results, every cricketer tends to have a favourite venue. For example, Anil Kumble and Delhi’s Ferozeshah ­Kotla, where he took all 10 wickets in a Test inn­ings in 1999, or Mohammed Azharuddin and the Eden Gardens, where he has five Test centuries, or Sunil Gavaskar and the Queen’s Park Oval, in Port of Spain (four centuries). For Shikhar Dhawan, it is Kennington Oval in London, where he averages an astounding 152.50, and Edgbaston in Birmingham, where he has regained his form in this year’s Champions Trophy. Dhawan, 31, relishes scoring on foreign soil—his ­other 200-plus run agg­regates in 79 ODIs are at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the ­Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium  in Dhaka.

Another unique fact about Dha­wan’s car­eer is that he has scored over half of his 3,361 ODI runs overseas—2,393 in 56 matches, and only 968 in 23 games at home. Dhawan’s coaches are obv­iously pleased at his imperious form. Tarak Sinha, who has produced...

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