With a belligerent 25-ball half-century against Rajasthan Royals on Monday, Dhawan notched up his fourth fifty-plus score of the season.
He has only ever scored more than four half-centuries in a season once before in 2012. Chasing 192 for a win, Dhawan got Delhi Capitals off to a superb start. He hit Dhawal Kulkarni for a six and a four in the second over and then went on to counter the Shreyas Gopal threat thrown at them early.
The leg-spinner has had some success this year in the IPL but Dhawan was determined to put him under pressure early on. The leggie was smashed for a six and two fours in his opening over.
Two more fours off Dhawal Kulkarni in the final over of the power-play took Dhawan to 48 in 23 balls in the first six overs. He completed his quickest IPL half-century two balls later but was out stumped off Gopal in the eighth over.
Dhawan has been in great touch for Delhi ever since his unbeaten 97 against Kolkata Knight Riders. Having started the season with a 43 and 51, the Delhi opener lost his form and strung together scores of 16, 30, 12 and 0 in the next four matches. After his 97* against Kolkata, Dhawan has made three scores above 35 (two above fifty) in four innings.
What's even more impressive is the remarkable change in strike rate. In the first six matches of the season, Dhawan had made 152 runs at a strike rate of 116.03. From his brilliant knock against Kolkata, he has racked up 249 runs in five matches at a strike rate of 154.65.
In terms of strike rate, Dhawan's numbers have seen a rise in the last couple of seasons. Till 2018, Dhawan had never recorded a strike rate above 130 in a year of the IPL. In 2018, in David Warner's absence, Dhawan scored 497 runs at a strike rate of 136.91 for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
After his transfer to Delhi Capitals, despite the slow start to the season, the southpaw has managed to give his strike rate a decent spike. It stands at 137.32 after 11 matches, the fastest he has ever struck at in a season in the IPL. Given his recent prowess in this area, we might well see him end up close to that 150-mark by the end of the season.
First Published: April 23, 2019, 6:05 AM IST