Shikhar Dhawan stole the show with an amazing exhibition of hitting during the first Twenty20 International against Australia in Brisbane on Wednesday. The left-hander’s 76 off 42 balls was his ninth fifty in this format and it included 10 fours and two sixes but Virat Kohli’s team lost the match by four runs to trail 0-1 in the three-match series. During the course of his knock, however, Dhawan created history and broke a record long held by Indian skipper Virat Kohli. Dhawan, on 69, became the leading run-getter in Twenty20 Internationals in a calendar year overtaking Kohli’s mark.
Dhawan now has 648 runs in 16 games in 2018, breaking Kohli’s mark of 641 runs which he achieved in 2016 15 games at a staggering average of 106. The left-hander has enjoyed a phenomenal year in the shortest format, starting with the series in South Africa where he made scores of 72, 24, 47. In the Nidahas Trophy tri-series competition in Sri Lanka, Dhawan blasted 90 and 55 in the games against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to continue his great run.
Against Ireland, the India opener blasted 74 in Malahide but had a poor tour of England, managing just 19 runs in three Twenty20 Internationals in a three-match series which India won 2-1. Against West Indies, Dhawan notched up his highest individual score by hammering 92 in Chennai as Rohit Sharma’s side achieved a 3-0 sweep against the two-time World T20 champions.
Dhawan has a chance to hit the most fifties in a calendar year and become the first to 700 runs in this format. Kohli currently holds the record for most fifties with seven in 2016 and with two more games to go against Australia, Dhawan can create many more records. Only three Indians have ever crossed 500 runs in a calendar year in Twenty20 Internationals. Apart from Kohli and Dhawan, Rohit smashed 567 runs in 2018 at an average of 37.
India’s next game against Australia will be on November 23 in Melbourne and Virat Kohli will be desperate to not lose a series and get their tour Down Under off to a bad start.