World Cup 2015: Sensational Shikhar Dhawan Slams Seventh Century Against South Africa
Shikhar Dhawan's seventh ODI century (137 off 146) came in front of a packed MCG stadium with a sea of blue giving him massive support in the match against South Africa.
- Updated: February 22, 2015 01:12 PM IST
Shikhar Dhawan built on his 73 against Pakistan with a dominant ton off 122 balls against South Africa at Melbourne Cricket Ground, on Sunday. He went on to score 137 off 146 - the highest ever by a batsman against Proteas in World Cups, as India piled on a commendable 307/7 at the end of their innings.
Opening India's batting after his side chose to bat, Dhawan was aggressive from the word go. He lost partner Rohit Sharma to a tragic run-out but it had no effect on Dhawan's approach to the game. A steady start was soon replaced by a flurry of boundaries as South Africa's famed pace battery was dispatched with a high degree of disdain.
Having Virat Kohli (46) for company further bolstered Dhawan's confidence. The two Delhi players had put on 129 against Pakistan. Against South Africa, it was an encore of sorts as they put on 127 - much to the delight of fans here. While the Indian vice-captain played a reserved innings from one end, Dhawan managed to complete his 13th ODI fifty from 70 balls.
The fifty was only a sign of bigger and better things to come.
The southpaw moved to top-gear once he completed his half-century and his strike rate soon crossed the 100 mark. Although dropped on 54 by a diving Hashim Amla at gully, Dhawan's batting was otherwise flawless as he targeted spin and dispatched Imran Tahir for several fours.
The remarkable aspect of the knock was that Dhawan's aggression was not about reckless swings and pulls. Each of his shots to the fence were sublime hits - efforts almost exactly as how cricket manuals would teach budding players. Little wonder then that the South Africans kept changing the field and their bowling attack - without much success though.