Shikhar Dhawan in action for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021
Shikhar Dhawan was one of the unsung stars of the Indian Premier League. The opening batsman is the second highest run-eater in the history of the league with 5,784 runs from 192 matches. His score of 44 half-centuries is only second to that of David Warner and the south leg also has two centuries on his scoring stick, which came in rugby matches in the 2020 season. What is interesting is that some of his best seasons have come in the last three years since joining the Delhi Capitals on a transfer. His impact was tremendous at the top of the order, leading to the rejuvenated franchise reaching the playoffs in all three seasons.
But this is not something new. Dhawan spent 6 seasons with Sunrisers Hyderabad, where he formed one of the league’s most successful opening partnerships with Aussie big Warner. Dhawan won the IPL with SRH in 2016 and remains the franchise’s second highest runner to date.
But somehow, his efforts, not only in the IPL but also for Team India, never translated into a leadership role with any IPL team. He has served as captains at both SRH and DC and looked comfortable in the role but has never been considered a choice to lead a team.
With his national team commitments at an all-time low, having been unfavorable in both Tests and T20Is, Dhawan will try to prove himself all over again, not only as a batsman but also as a leader . This is an opportunity window for some teams looking for a new leader. If Dhawan is not retained by Delhi Capitals, there is a chance for the other franchises, including the two new ones, to look to Dhawan in a leadership role.
Dhawan has to itch to return to India colors in the limited overs format and the IPL is his vehicle to claim a place in the team. Not only Dhawan, there are senior Indian cricketers like Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane, who can also be considered as potential captain candidates because of their vast experience.
People like KL Rahul and Sanju Samson excelled with the bat despite the burden of captaincy, but they could not deliver the results for their respective teams. Consequently, this mega-auction could open the doors for some surprise choices and choices in the coming season.
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