Navi Mumbai, April 17 (IANS) Former England off-spinner Graeme Swann praised Punjab Kings’ star opener Shikhar Dhawan in the ongoing IPL 2022, calling him ‘Mr IPL’ and added that the left-handed opener has started roaring with the bat for his new franchise.
In Punjab’s campaign till now in IPL 2022, Dhawan is the leading run-scorer with 197 runs in five matches at an average of 39.40 and strike-rate of 133.10. In their match against Mumbai Indians in Pune, Dhawan top-scored with a stroke-filled 70 and was involved in a 97-run opening stand with captain Mayank Agarwal to set the base for a 12-run win.
Now, ahead of Sunday’s afternoon match against Sunrisers Hyderabad at DY Patil Stadium, Dhawan is 19 runs away from becoming the second batter after Virat Kohli to reach the 6000-run mark in the history of IPL.
As of now, Dhawan has amassed 5,981 runs at an average of 34.97 and strike-rate of 126.85 in 197 IPL matches. He even holds the record for most fours hit in the history of the tournament with 673 fours.
“Clearly he’s in a form of his life. I mean he’s been playing a pink suit gear dog in the IPL. I mean he is Mr. IPL (for me) and I love watching every minute of him bat like that (when he’s in his elements),” said Swann on Cricket Live show on Star Sports.
Lauding the wide range of shots the experienced Dhawan possesses in his repertoire, Swann claimed that people tuning in to IPL 2022 are seeing ‘Vintage Dhawan’ strokes from his bat.
“As soon as Shikhar Dhawan plays a shot over extra cover for a six early on in his innings, you know he’s in for a good time. And these are some vintage Shikhar Dhawan shots. He’s brilliant down the ground, brilliant over the square, that little ramp over the top, a flick to the leg side. He’s amazing.”
Punjab Kings is Dhawan’s fifth team in the IPL after Delhi Daredevils (now Capitals), Mumbai Indians, now-defunct Deccan Chargers, Sunrisers Hyderabad before going back to Delhi.