Shikhar Dhawan hits ton, roars back into form

Shikhar Dhawan roared back into form with a fine century against Australia in the fourth ODI in Mohali.

Shikhar Dhawan in action against Australia plays a shot en route to his century.   -  GETTY IMAGES

After scoring a century in Mohali, Shikhar Dhawan failed to get going in the fifth and final ODI falling cheaply to Pat Cummins. The southpaw chased a delivery from Cummins and could only manage a nick to wicketkeeper Alex Carey.

After roaring back to form in Mohali, Dhawan couldn't continue from where he left.

Dhawan started well at the Kotla by clipping Jhye Richardson for a four through backward square leg and followed it up with a thunderous drive, piercing the off-side with precision. He, however, ran out of luck when he got a feather touch in attempting a drive off Cummins and walked back to the pavillion.

His 100 in Mohali was however something that had class oozing on it. He got to his hundred in 97 deliveries with 12 fours and a six, his 16th ODI ton, his first in 18 innings and third against Australia.

Dhawan took on the Australian bowlers after getting past his hundred as he made a brilliant 143 off 115 balls. His knock was stitched with 18 boundaries and three sixes.

In the process, Dhawan crossed his personal best score of 137 which he made against South Africa in Melbourne.

A 193-run stand along with Rohit gave India the platform as both openers made good use of a flat pitch.

India vs Australia, 5th ODI

Decoding Dhawan

In what will be a relief for the team management, both misfiring openers, especially the southpaw is back in business.

In his last 17 ODIs, Dhawan managed only two fifty-plus scores, six single-digits and two ducks. In 2019, Dhawan managed to score just 265 runs at an abysmal average of 26.50 in 11 innings.

His last century was in 2018 against Pakistan in Dubai. Dhawan started the year with a duck but managed an unbeaten 75 against New Zealand before runs deserted him again. 

Despite falling for a duck in the first ODI against Australia followed by forgettable outings in Nagpur and Ranchi, the team management decided to stick with the opener.

And finally at Mohali, where he scored a brilliant 187 on Test debut, Dhawan made a statement with a vintage knock.

Batting coach Sanjay Bangar threw his weight behind the opener and Dhawan delivered with a centuury.

"In the previous game, he (Dhawan) was batting really well till he erred in shot selection. But from our point of view, he has been an important player," Bangar said after the third ODI. "If we know that he gets going, he can give us that solidity as it is vital to have that right-left combination going. He is a hugely valuable player for us and he is expected to come good very soon."