Former Indian cricketer Ajay Jadeja was very impressed with the way senior opener Shikhar Dhawan has been scoring runs in ODIs after another stunning performance with the bat on August 18.
He also found a similarity between Dhawan and Sachin Tendulkar, saying the left-hander is trying to reinvent himself in order to match up with the younger generation, which is something the Master Blaster did in the latter part of his career.
Notably, Dhawan is India’s leading run-scorer in ODI cricket in 2022 with 469 runs. He smashed his 38th ODI fifty on Thursday to help Team India beat Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in the first ODI, as the touring side chased down 190 runs in 30.5 overs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series.
Ajay Jadeja said on the Star Sports’ post-match show: “There will always be a period where you are re-energized and you’ve got to change your game because the next generation is always quicker, faster, smarter. And they always push you. A good example is going back to Sachin Tendulkar.”
The former batter continued, “Think of him when Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, and all these guys came in. He did exactly the same thing in his career. He had to reinvent himself, and changed the pace at which he was playing the game to keep up with the younger lot.
You’ve got to catch up. Sometimes as a senior player you tend to take it easy, you’ve been around for so long… You stagnate at a certain place. But when that next generation comes, it starts pushing you. The first time was when Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly came in and the next change was when Yuvraj, Sehwag, and Dhoni came in. And you can see the same with Shikhar.”
Speaking about Dhawan and Shubman Gill’s partnership against Zimbabwe, Jadeja noted: “If Zimbabwe had any little hope of defending their total, it was in the first 10 overs, it was shut soon. It was in two parts, which tells you the maturity of these two batters.”
He concluded, “They understood what was required what needed to be done at which stage of the innings. Dhawan was the senior partner, he knew what to do. But what I enjoyed was watching Gill; he is only 22 years old but he seems to possess an experienced-player’s head on his shoulders.”