Making a comeback into India’s Test squad after a gap of 10 months, opener Shikhar Dhawan smashed a cracking hundred against Sri Lanka in the first Test at Galle started on Wednesday. The dashing southpaw scored runs at a brisk pace and hit Lankan bowlers all over the park. He hit boundaries at will and took just 110 balls to reach his fifth Test hundred off which included 16 boundaries. This was Dhawan’s second Test century against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka.
Interestingly, Dhawan had last scored his Test hundred against the Sri Lanka at the same venue two years back in 2015. However, post that century he failed to carry his form in the next eight Test matches where he managed the highest score of 84.
Earlier, India skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat on a good batting surface in Galle. Shikhar Dhawan and Abhinav Mukund started the proceedings and led the visitors to a steady start. However, Mukund failed to convert the chance and got dismissed at the score of 12. However, Mukund’s dismissal did not affect Dhawan, who continued to play freely and hit shots all around.
Dhawan completed his half-century off 62 balls and went to lunch unbeaten at 64. He changed gears after the lunch break and started playing more shots. During his innings, the Delhi opener survived once when Asela Gunaratne put down his catch in the second slip on pacer Lahiru Kumara’s bowling.
With Pujara joining him from the other end, Dhawan played the aggressor’s and severely punished the loose deliveries. He also used his feet to great effect against spinners to hit boundaries.
Shikhar Dhawan had made a sensational debut in Test cricket against Australia, he scored a record 187 in Mohali four years ago. Since then he dramatically failed to show similar form in whites and couldn’t replicate his form of the limited overs format.
Pacer Nuwan Pradeep dismissed Dhawan at the score of 190. He missed out on his first double-hundred in Test cricket by just 10 runs. But, at the moment the opening conundrum for India looks sorted as Dhawan’s return in form is a good sign for the world number one Test side.