World T20: What's happening to Shikhar Dhawan?

mid-day's view of India’s eight-wicket win over Bangladesh in World T20

It has become a somewhat norm in the World T20 2014 so far. MS Dhoni winning the toss and fielding first, bowlers restricting the opposition below 140 and the batsmen overhauling the target with ease. It happened against Pakistan, against West Indies and on Friday, against Bangladesh.

Seeing Red: India’s Shikhar Dhawan is clean bowled by Bangladesh’s Al-Amin Hossain during yesterday’s World T20 tie in Dhaka. Pic/AFP.

Result: Three wins in three games and a guaranteed spot in the semi-finals.

Mixed bag early on
The Indian bowling unit wasn’t as dominant against the hosts as they were against the West Indies. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar didn’t swing the ball as much, Mohammad Shami missed the length every now and then, and Jadeja was attacked. But the top two spinners — Amit Mishra and R Ashwin, in that order — were spot on once again.

Poor shot selection
Indians were definitely helped by some terrible shot selection from the Bangladesh batsman. After Kumar gave away 13 runs in the first over, India came back by picking up three wickets in seven balls, including two wickets in two balls for Ashwin. Suddenly the hosts were reduced to 21 for 3 in the fifth over. Mushfiqur Rahim, the most talented batsman of the lot, threw it away with a poorly timed cross-batted slog, and the hosts looked like struggling to get to even 130.

Hosts fightback
Anamul Haque, who opened the innings, played some delightful strokes to score 44 off 43. The real fight back started once he was dismissed though, as the pair of Nasir Hossain and Mahmudullah added 49 runs off 37 balls.

Kumar-Mishra show
There was still time for a mini fight-back from India, first with Kumar conceding just seven runs in the 19th over, and then Mishra giving away same number of runs in the last over, picking up two
wickets. Mishra finished with figures of three for 26.

Kohli, Sharma on top
India’s opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan once again struggled to get going, while Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli once again ran away with the chase with a second consecutive century partnership. Both scored half centuries, and by the time Sharma got out to a full-toss, the game was all but over as a contest.

Scope for experiment
The win has now given India a chance to sort out their batting order. Dhawan has looked terribly out of touch and out of sorts. Yuvraj hasn’t been any better, and Sunday’s game against Australia would be a chance to either give a longer time to one of these two, or try out a couple of talented guys from bench, read Ajinkya Rahane. It could be a chance to perhaps bat first and test out the batting as a unit.

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