Shikhar Dhawan is a late bloomer in cricketing terms. After years of consistent performances in domestic cricket and having to live in the shadow of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, Shikhar finally got his much-awaited chance against Australia last year and grabbed it with both hands as he smashed the fastest ever test century on debut – taking just 85 balls to reach the landmark.
Let’s take a look at 12 Unknown Facts about this dynamite from Delhi.
1. Due to consistent rejections for the national squad, Tarak Sinha, Shikhar’s coach, said he was so distraught that he contemplated quitting the sport. The most frustrating was the selction of his junior, Virat Kohli before him. Shikhar started to doubt his capabilities and it was only after Sinha motivated him to keep striving towards his dreams that Shikhar continued to play.
2. Dhawan is no stranger to man-of-the-series awards. The flamboyant opener was named as the Player of the Tournament at the U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh in 2003-04 with 505 runs at an average of 84.16 including three centuries.
3. Shikhar believes in a detailed analysis of his performances as well as in practice. Dhawan admitted in an interview to ESPN Cricinfo : “I write down how I played, little details of the way I batted, the way I was feeling.”
4. Shikhar is married to his long-term girlfriend Ayesha Mukherjee, who is an Australian citizen. They had been dating for a long time, but Dhawan delayed the marriage to focus on his cricketing career.
5. Shikhar has 16 centuries and as many as 24 half-centuries in first-class cricket for Delhi. His consistent track record in domestic cricket earned him an India call-up after the dismal form of Virender Sehwag.
6. Shikhar starred in a successful Ranji Trophy campaign for Delhi in the 2007-08 season, scoring a 54 not out in the second innings to guide Delhi to their seventh Ranji title under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir.
7. Shikhar’s coach Tarak Sinha first saw him play at an Under-12 tournament his club, Delhi’s famous Sonnet Cricket Club had organised. He saw a left-handed wicketkeeper batsman with potential. Dhawan caught the eye of Sinha with a hundred in the final.
8. Dhawan made his ODI debut for the National team against Australia during their whistlestop tour in India in the 2010-11 season. Dhawan was bowled by Clint McKay on the very second delivery for a duck.
9. On his test debut for India, Dhawan went on to make 187 against Australia at Mohali, the highest score by an Indian on debut.
10. Dhawan is a massive tattoo freak. Dhawan first got himself inked at the age of 15 (without telling his parents ofcourse!) and and has been inked four times. He’s got ‘Carpe Diem’ on his left arm, a tribal sign on his right arm and on his back is a design which even the man himself can’t describe!
11. Dhawan is a huge fan of Sufi music and his favorites are Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and the Wadali brothers.
12. Dhawan and his wife Ayesha were introduced to each other by Harbhajan Singh on social networking site Facebook. Match made on the internet, eh?