Indian opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan has been enjoying a dream run ever since he stepped into the neighboring country, Sri Lanka. Before the tour, he was enjoying a holiday in Hong Kong and had no hopes of being picked for the Indian Test side to play against Sri Lanka.
But Murali Vijay was declared unfit and Dhawan had to cut short his vacations and he flew to the island nation as a replacement. The luck further helped him as the other opener KL Rahul was ruled out of the first Test and he got a chance to open the innings. And boy did he grab that opportunity!
He scored a magnificent 190 in Galle that won him the Man of the Match award. He then followed it up with another hundred in the third Test in Pallekele and won the Player of the Series award as well. He ended up being the highest scorer of the series with 358 runs to his name in 4 innings.
That was not all for the 31-year-old. He continued his merry way in the ODI series as well. In the first ODI in Dambulla, he notched up his 3rd century of the tour. A blazing knock of 132 off just 90 balls with 20 fours and 3 sixes saw him receiving yet another Man of the Match.
The left-hander absolutely dismantled the Sri Lankan bowling attack and was unflustered against everyone. He toyed with the bowlers and struck some classy boundaries. A bowler that received a massive beating at the hands of Dhawan was the veteran Lasith Malinga.
Malinga gave away 52 runs in his 8 overs and failed to pick up any wickets. There is no denying the fact that traditionally, Indian batsmen have handled him better than any other batting line-up. Once again, Malinga was at the receiving end. Dhawan believes that it’s the age that is taking a toll on the Sri Lankan pacer and his pace is going down.
“Of course he is bit old now and I feel that his pace has gone down that’s why we can attack more. That’s natural. He has played so many years of cricket and age has taken its toll. It’s a life cycle,” said Dhawan about Malinga.
There are still 4 ODIs and a T20I remaining on the tour and Dhawan would be looking to make the most of every single opportunity as the competition in the side has increased immensely and there are several openers who are fighting for a place in the XI.