In a match that starred two of India's potential openers for the World T20 coming fall, Shikhar Dhawan's 92 off 49 stood out miles ahead of KL Rahul's 61 of 51. And the number reflected in the winning margin of six wickets as Delhi Capitals successfully chased down 196 with 10 balls to spare.
Over the last two seasons, Dhawan scored 804 runs in 20 IPL innings at a strike rate of 152.56 with six fifties and two centuries. 186 of those runs have been scored in the three matches he played this season, a strike rate of 163.15, with two fifties. The impressive scoring rate stands in stark contrast to Dhawan's previous strike rate of 135.67 in 2019 and 136 in 2018.
Dhawan explained that it was a conscious effort from his side to improve on his strike rate. "It was a conscious effort from my side. I knew I have to improve on that (strike rate). Started taking more risks. Not afraid of changes, always open towards it. Not scared of getting out as well. Have worked on a few shots. My slog shot has improved a lot. It was there earlier as well, but now I play it more freely. I'm more relaxed, having played for so many years. Don't take things for granted," he said in the post-match presentation.
Facing 51 balls, almost 42 per cent of the team's deliveries, Rahul scored only 61 runs at a strike rate of 119.61.