Shikhar Dhawan took the world by storm when he stroked his way to the fastest Test century by a debutant against Australia. That debut, in Mohali in 2012-13, came to Dhawan in his ninth year of first-class cricket after he had been written off by almost everybody because India’s opening combination had been fixed to the most prolific combination in their Test history: Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.
Giving a glimpse of the great opener in his initial phase, Dhawan became very inconsistent with the bat but every time he came under scrutiny for his poor run of scores, he managed to salvage his place in the Indian team with a good knock before hitting snooze mode again.
HHowever,his childhood coach Tarak Sinha is adamant that pupil will overcome this phase. Sinha, who has coached some big names like Surinder Khanna, Raman Lamba, Sanjeev Sharma, Ajay Sharma, Atul Wassan, Manoj Prabhakar, Aakash Chopra, Ashish Nehra, Anjum Chopra (former Indian women’s team captain) and now Shikhar Dhawan, has said that it is a “psychological thing” and is confident that Dhawan will pass the tough phase. At the moment though, Sinha is anxious about Dhawan, who, with India is scheduled to play 13 Tests in the coming months.
“After a stage, a player thinks that he is doing fine and there’s nothing wrong with him, and he’ll overcome this phase. It’s a psychological thing. When you fail in a few innings consistently , you become nervous and your feet and hands don’t move,” Sinha said.
Sinha, who coached Dhawan since he was just 12, said that Dhawan is mentally very strong and had the calibre to go far in the game. “There was always a spark in him.He was extremely talented, and would pick up every nuance of the game quickly. When he played in an U-14 tournament for Sonnet, he scored a hundred in the semis. He was mentally very strong, and such players go very far. He has seen quite a few highs and lows in his life, but ultimately he was successful,” he recalls.
Sinha also revealed that Dhawan had thoughts about quitting the game as he was not getting chances to play regularly for Delhi. “Look, Delhi is a high-profile team. At that time, there were established openers like Virender Sehwag, Chopra and Gautam Gambhir. He hardly got to play . He thought about quitting, because he felt he wouldn’t get a chance, ” says Sinha.