Home > Features >

Shikhar Dhawan needs to strike the right balance between attack and defence

Shikhar Dhawan essayed a half-century against New Zealand © Getty Images
Shikhar Dhawan has looked in good touch against New Zealand in the second innings at Auckland © Getty Images

 

Lack of confidence is not a worry for Shikhar Dhawan but the inability to tone down his aggressive instincsts, while going for his strokes may be an issue. Abhijit Banare elaborates on Dhawan’s dry spell with the bat.

There is a jittery feeling which every batsman identifies when he walks out to bat knowing that he is not in form. When you are not in form, you lose the battle in the mind even before you face the delivery. But the dilemma is completely different, if you walk out to bat with confidence despite not having enough runs behind you. India’s Shikhar Dhawan is currently batting with that mindset. Dhawan might well be aware that the intense mental pressure to score runs can erode his confidence too.

Every time, he walks out to bat, there’s absolutely no sign of nervousness on his face. Even the short balls are faced with a wry smile. But that smile won’t instill confidence of the selectors, if the runs aren’t scored on board and more so, if you are in charge of giving a good start to the team.

Dhawan’s form is an interesting challenge not only for the selectors, but for the man himself. Since the sensational Test debut at Mohali, Dhawan has failed to register a single half-century in his next seven innings. And since the overseas One-Day International (ODI) series in South Africa, he has crossed the 30-run mark just once in six innings. The dip in performances isn’t long enough for his place to come under threat. In fact, in some of these innings, Dhawan started off well and fought hard to keep his wicket, only to squander it midway through his innings. The maturity in his innings is visible but the temperament is still a question mark. In the Tests in South Africa, he has been deliberately targeted by the short balls and Dhawan, instead of choosing to leave it alone, used his confidence to have a go at it. And hence, too much of confidence has led to the downfall.  However, as we speak, he has carved his way to a fine knock in the second innings against New Zealand, as India look to chase down a monstrous target.

The simple truth is, the left-hander should make the most of his opportunities or he may find himself going down the same path of Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina, who both struggled against the short ball. In fact, Raina’s example is a live one. Raina’a predicament to the short ball has been very embarrassing and has been duly critcised by cricket pundits. The heated discussion over the short ball menace is because Dhawan too is going down the same path.

Unlike Raina and Yuvraj who have presented technical faults, Dhawan just needs to show good temperament and pick the right ball to go after. And the Test match at Auckland against New Zealand is the perfect opportunity to do so. In the second innings, he has shown judicious judgment and eased into his drives, whenever there has been an opportunity on offer. He also has a perfect partner in Cheteshwar Pujara who can grind the opposition down with his patience. The fact is, just one big innings overseas and the opener could well find his rhythm back.

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

Amla feels Proteas more acclimatised to conditions

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 5: Chris Rogers, Steven Smith off to cautious start

Live Cricket Score: Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe, 1st Test Day 2: Bangladesh lose Shamsur early in the day

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Ahmed Shehzad is maturing with each innings

Duleep Trophy 2014-15: Six things we learnt from the quarter-finals and semi-finals

Younis Khan — Pakistan’s greatest batsman?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Duleep Trophy India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Michael Klinger’s 96 guides Western Australia to 255 in Matador Cup final

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014: Bangladesh in control at lunch despite losing two wickets

New Zealand vs South Africa 2014: Nathan McCullum welcomes Daniel Vettori’s return

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: My performance in this Test match has been disappointing, says Michael Clarke

New Zealand vs South Africa 2014: Kane Williamson eager to get back from injury

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Ahmed Shehzad is maturing with each innings

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014: Shakib-al-Hasan roars back with 6-wicket haul

TE Srinivasan: Graceful at the crease and in death

Duleep Trophy 2014-15: Six things we learnt from the quarter-finals and semi-finals

Fazal Mahmood engineers Pakistan’s first ever Test match victory

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

How to make tamarind or imli packs for hair and skin

Lenovo’s first wearable Smartband SW-B100 gets listed on official website, to be a fitness tracker device

Happy New Year box office collection: Shah Rukh Khan-Deepika Padukone starrer earns Rs 38 crore on day 2!

Shah Rukh Khan’s youngest son AbRam as Santa Claus is the cutest thing you will see today – view pic!

Share My Dabba – A novel concept by Mumbai Dabbawallas to feed hungry street kids of Mumbai

Private firms’ sales growth moderated in FY13: Report

Top Sex Positions: Frog Princess

Stephen Hawking joins Facebook, wants people to be ‘curious’

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here