Shikhar Dhawan’s love affair with England continued as he became the highest scorer in this year’s ICC Champions Trophy.
Dhawan, whose selection ahead of Gautam Gambhir and others was questioned by many, answered the doubters in style with two fifties and a century so far in the tournament.
He now has 271 runs from three matches this edition. Kane Williamson is second in the list with 244 runs from three games.
In the last Champions Trophy back in 2013, India rode on Dhawan and Rohit Sharma’s brilliant starts at the top to win the title. The Delhi batsman was named player of the tournament for scoring 363 runs from five matches, including two hundreds and one fifty.
He continued the good work in this year’s tournament. Dhawan struck an impressive 40 in the first warm-up game against New Zealand at Edgbaston and followed it up with another good knock of 60 against Bangladesh in the second warm-up game.
Dhawan’s impressive form continued as the tournament got underway. He slammed 68 against arch-rivals Pakistan as India thrashed Pakistan by 124 runs. He followed that up with 125 in the next match against Sri Lanka to help India post 321/6 from their 20 overs but a young Lanka side pulled off a great upset as they chased down the target with eight balls to spare.
With India’s back against the wall in a must-win game against South Africa at The Oval to qualify for the semis, the 31-year-old stood up again. The Indian bowlers did a very good job to restrict the Proteas for a paltry 191 from 44.3 overs.
But, South Africa started off on a good note with Morne Morkel getting Rohit Sharma early. Virat Kohli walked in and was struggling to get going but Dhawan held one end and attacked the bowlers. He finally completed his fifty 61 balls tp take India closer towards the semis.
He finally got out for 78 off 83 balls, while trying to up the ante and hit Imran Tahir for a six over Long-off.
Dhawan also became the fourth batsman in the history of the Champions Trophy to get three consecutive scores over fifty. Before this Saeed Anwar (3) (2000-02), Marcus Trescothick (3) (2004) and Kane Williamson (4) (2013-17) have achieved the feat. He now averages more than 130 in the Champions Trophy. (Courtesy India Today)