Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan lauded Shikhar Dhawan after the left-hander played a match-winning knock of unbeaten 62 runs off just 53 balls against Gujarat Titans at the Dr. DY Patil Sports Academy, Mumbai on Tuesday.
Dhawan played a mature knock as the asking rate was not much after Gujarat Titans could only post 143 runs on the board.
Dhawan once again timed the ball to perfection as he played at the top of his game. The southpaw anchored the innings and added 87 runs with Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who scored a fine knock of 40 runs.
The southpaw has been a consistent performer in the IPL and he has definitely improved his game in the last couple of seasons. Furthermore, Dhawan had recently completed 6000 IPL runs and had become the second batter after Virat Kohli to achieve the personal milestone. Pathan stated that Dhawan is an IPL legend as he has been consistent right throughout the tournament.
Dhawan also went past the 300 run-mark in the ongoing season and this is the 13th time when he has scored a minimum of 300 runs in the tournament.
Pathan said on Star Sports, “He (Dhawan) is an IPL legend, he is that type of a batter. The 15th season is going on and there have been only two seasons where he has not scored 300 runs. He has scored at least 300 runs in every other season, he brings that sort of performance.”
“He was required to show his experience today and he did that. The way he built his innings at the start when the ball was moving around. It was extremely necessary for the Punjab Kings not to lose too many wickets at the start.”
Pathan, who was known to swing the new ball during his heydays, added that Dhawan respected the new ball against Mohammed Shami and Lockie Fergusson and scored his runs freely against a slightly old ball.
“He was leaving the new ball. When Mohammed Shami and Ferguson were bowling, he was not trying to repeatedly put bat to ball. But once he got set, the ball stopped moving, he put his full experience and played an extremely important knock.”
“When Shikhar Dhawan scores runs for Punjab Kings, the other batters score runs around him and can play fearlessly. It was a praiseworthy knock.”
Punjab Kings will next face Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Saturday.