Shikhar Dhawan followed up his 115 from the second innings of the opening Test with a 98 in the second Test against New Zealand. While the Indian opener missed his third ton, it was an innings of substance which kept Kiwi bowlers guessing for most parts of India's 1st innings romp in Wellington. (Scorecard | Day 2 Highlights)
Unbeaten on 71 overnight, Dhawan on Saturday continued where he left off on Day 1. His knock of 98 contained 14 fours and a six coming in just 123 deliveries. Playing with equal ease on both sides of the wicket, Dhawan displayed composure at the crease as he looked to make good use of the start he had got. This was after Ishant Sharma (6/51) and Mohammed Shami (4/70) had bowled out the hosts for 192. (Day 2 Pics)
When he reached his half-century on the first day, Shikhar Dhawan became the first Indian opener to register a fifty in the first innings of the Wellington Test. Overall, he is the second Indian opener to record an innings of fifty-plus score at Wellington. Gautam Gambhir had registered 167 in the second innings of the 2008-09 Test.
During the course of his superb Wellington knock, Dhawan also completed 500 runs in Tests. It took him seven games to reach the landmark. A hundred on Saturday would have been Dhawan's second Test ton away from home and also his second against New Zealand. It however, was not meant to be as the entertaining innings was abruptly ended by Tim Southee who invited the batsman to drive, only to find the edge off his bat. The 28-year-old walked back slowly but his innings had already helped his side to a position of strength.
Prior to the Test match, Dhawan had said that the New Zealand tour would be a good learning curve for Team India. He certainly seems to be learning with big scores coming his way. Dhawan's innings could be the factor as it may give India a sizeable lead and tilt the match in the visitors' favour.