Indian batsman Shikhar Dhawan on Friday announced his sensational comeback to T20I cricket as he notched up his maiden fifty in the format in 14 months. Dhawan notched up his 10th T20I half-century en route to his knock of 52 runs in the third and final game of the series against Sri Lanka at Maharashtra Cricket Association in Pune.
Put to bat first in Pune, Indian opener KL Rahul and Dhawan got off to a promising start as the pair added 97 runs to the board, their second consecutive fifty-plus opening stand. En route to the partnership, Dhawan scored 52 runs off 36 deliveries with seven boundaries and a six, striking at the rate of 144.44.
Dhawan had once again started slowly in the partnership before taking over the role of the aggressor with two boundaries against skipper Lasith Malinga and then back-to-back fours against Lahiru Kumara. Despite the role, Rahul still looked superior given his control percentage of 95 while Dhawan recorded 65 per cent owing to more false shot compared to none from Rahul in the partnership.
Nevertheless, the knock will give a happy headache to Indian team management who are yet to decide on the second opening option for World T20 given Rohit Sharma is the primary choice. He managed only 272 runs at 22.66 with no half-centuries in 2019 and struck at the rate of 110.56. In his absence, Rahul piled runs at will in the series against West Indies proving his stake for the position of Rohit's partner.
"Lots of injuries last year, but it's part and parcel of the game. It's a new year, looking forward to a new start. I always take things in a positive manner. Injuries are natural, just take them in my stride. Looking forward to score lots of runs this year, be a more impactful player, win matches for my team and win the World Cup. This series is a good opportunity for me to score runs. Am always developing my game, developing new shots," said Dhawan told the broadcasters when the rain had intervened the start of the first T20I match against Sri Lanka at the Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati.