Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar appreciated the BCCI selection committee for continuing to show faith in Shikhar Dhawan’s abilities.
Manjrekar believes that the Southpaw from Delhi is still a force to be reckoned with in 50-over cricket. The former India cricketer is of the opinion that the ODI format has always been the best format for Dhawan.
The 36-year-old batter has scored 6315 runs in 150 ODI matches at an average of 45.76. Dhawan is also a man for the big stage, as he is known to do well in the ICC tournaments. The left-hander has scored 1,238 runs in 20 ICC tournament matches at an average of 65.15.
“Shikhar Dhawan who’s got only one format now that he can cling on but interestingly right through his career, from start to end, if you look at his performance in 50 overs cricket, it’s always been the best,” said Manjrekar on the ‘Sports Over The Top’ show on Sports18.
“This is a format that suits him best and a format where he’s been excellent. And I’m so glad that selectors have shown faith in him and reminded themselves that Shikhar Dhawan is still a force in 50 overs cricket. So brilliant to see them at the top,” the 57-year-old added.
India chased down the target of 110 in the first ODI against England without losing any wicket with the help of a strong partnership of 114* between the openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. The duo also became the second pair from India (after Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly) and fourth overall to complete 5000 runs as a partnership in ODIs.
The 36-year-old Southpaw remained unbeaten on 31. Indian captain’s aggressive approach from the other end gave Dhawan time to find his groove and spend some time on the crease.
Asked about the importance of the Dhawan-Sharma partnership for India in ODIs, Manjrekar remarked, “I’m glad that Dhawan got this innings together and I hope he keeps on getting these kinds of innings together because Rohit Sharma will be around. He’s playing, you know, all the formats and the left-hand, right-hand combination at the top, I think i’ll be okay.”
“And if you look at Dhawan’s fitness, he doesn’t look his age on the field and it’s something that he cares a lot about making sure that he’s fit and fine and just pure batting. If you look at his performance in the domestic leagues and in the T20 league, I think his batting has gone up like this, the graph has gone up with the age as well,” added the former India player.