Indian cricketer Shikhar Dhawan played a significant role in India’s series levelling 36 run victory over Australia in Rajkot’s Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Friday.
Opening the innings for the men in blue along with Rohit Sharma, the southpaw knocked 96 off 90 deliveries to set the perfect dais for KL Rahul’s attack that powered the host to 340/6. The visiting team were bundled out for 304 in 49.1 overs as India leveled the series at 1-1 in the three match series.
Indian spin wizkid Yuzvendra Chahal has been irregular in the playing XI in recent times but still has been a constant presence, courtesy his post match interviews on Chahal TV.
However, Chahal was missing from action on Friday with Dhawan filling up for him. Not only did Dhawan do a great job with his guest KL Rahul, he also came up with a hysterical reason for Chahal’s absenteeism.
"Aap log soch rahe hoge ki Chahal kahaan hai? Finally, aaj woh apne daant andar karwane gaya hai. Humari itne saalo ke koshish ke baad. Isliye aaj woh dikh nahi rahe aur unke daant bhi nahi dikh rahe (You all must be wondering where Chahal is? Finally, he has gone to fix his teeth after many years of us trying to get him to do that. That is why neither him nor his teeth can be seen)," said Dhawan.
Furthermore, Dhawan commended KL Rahul for his scintillating knock regardless of dropping down from one down to number 5 slot and asked him about his contemplation.
"It helps that I have been scoring runs in previous series in the last month. I had the confidence and I used my form well. Playing at No.3 or No.5 as an opener is a different challenge but I was ready for it. I wanted to enjoy it. Today it came off and a lot of credit goes to you guys and the start you guys gave and the way Virat (Kohli) kept going on," said KL Rahul.
RL Rahul knocked 80 runs of just 52 deliveries, which was adorned with six fours and three sixes. Skipper Virat Kohli also played a fine knock, cumulating 78 off 76 deliveries as India put up an formidable total on the score board.
Australia’s Steve Smith knocked a brilliant 98 who was supported by Marnus Labushagne, who knocked 46 off 47 deliveries, but the Aussies were always behind the eight ball in run chase and by and by fell short.
The final ODI of the three match series will be played at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday.