Indian Team Director Ravi Shastri found AB de Villiers in Indian opener, Shikhar Dhawan. Dhawan surprised everyone when he scored the fastest Test century as a debutant in 2013 Mohali Test against Australia.
But, contrary to Shastri’s comment Dhawan never met AB de Villiers level in the ODI and Twenty international so far.
AB de Villiers is the most explosive and creative batsman in the world. But Shastri compared a prolific scorer with an outstanding hitter.
Dhawan in the Feroz Shah Kotla Test scored 33 runs in 85 balls with a strike rate of 38.82.
Dhawan after coming back from injury failed to score any hundred. He hit two consecutive hundred in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka tour.
While talking to BCCI.tv Shastri said, “It was a facet of his game he didn’t know existed. How many people would have thought AB de Villiers would bat for three sessions for 40 runs? For me, the respect for him has gone several notches higher. Shikhar did the same thing,”
Shastri compared Dhawan with South Africa’s veteran batsman AB de Villiers, who along with Hashim Amla (23) 244 balls, scored 43 runs off 297 balls.
But, their efforts have gone invain as India clinched the four match series 3-0 in the final session of the fifth day.
“They [Dhawan and De Villiers] are similar players – both are attacking and they like to dominate. But they sacrificed their instincts for their team, and that shows their strong character. They both would have learned something about their own game from this series”.
Hashim Amla led side lost Nagpur Test and Mohali Test inside three days. But they managed to Delhi Test to the final day with some dogged resilience.
Shastri also said that he had a word with Dhawan after the prolific scorer played slow innings on aturning track of Feroz Shah kotla.
“In fact, I told him after the match, ‘You scored the 20s and 30s in this series but don’t ever forget that those runs are priceless. They are as important as a 70, 80 or hundred on any other surface. You stalled the new-ball bowlers, kept them at bay and took your side in a solid position’. And what you said about him batting the way he did is absolutely right,” Shastri added.