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Shikhar Dhawan and AB de Villiers are similar kind of players: Ravi Shastri

"They [Dhawan and De Villiers] are similar players – both are attacking and they like to dominate. But they sacrificed their instincts for their team, and that shows their strong character," Shastri said.

Cricketnext Staff |December 12, 2015, 6:07 PM IST
Shikhar Dhawan and AB de Villiers are similar kind of players: Ravi Shastri

Known for his attacking style of batting, Indian opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan stunned everyone when he scored the fastest Test century by a debutant in 2013 against Australia.

Be it Tests, One-Day Internationals (ODIs) or Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is), Dhawan's strike-rate has never been swung.

But, the recently concluded fourth and the last Test against South Africa saw a different version of Dhawan. His uncharacteristic game at the Feroz Shah Kotla saw him scoring 33 runs in 85 balls with a strike-rate of 38.82.

India won the won the fourth and final Test by a mammoth 337-run margin to seal the series 3-0.

Hailing the Indian opener Dhawan, Team India director Ravi Shastri, told BCCI.tv: "It was a facet of his game he didn’t know existed. How many people would have thought AB de Villiers would bat for three sessions for 40 runs? For me, the respect for him has gone several notches higher. Shikhar did the same thing,"

Shatri went on to compare Dhawan with the South Africa veteran batman AB de Villiers, who along with Hashim Amla (23) 244-ball's resistance, tried to help South Africans play excruciatingly slow to take the match to a draw with his stubborn stay of 43 runs off 297 balls.

But, South Africa's spectacular stonewalling came unstuck in the final session as India clinched the four-match series 3-0.

"They [Dhawan and De Villiers] are similar players – both are attacking and they like to dominate. But they sacrificed their instincts for their team, and that shows their strong character. They both would have learned something about their own game from this series".

Beaten inside three days on either side of the rain-ruined second Test in Bangalore, Hashim Amla and his men had finally managed to take a Test into its final day with some dogged resilience.

Shastri also said that he had a word with Dhawan after the devastating batsman played a slow innings on a turning track of Kotla.

"In fact, I told him after the match, ‘You scored 20s and 30s in this series but don’t ever forget that those runs are priceless. They are as important as a 70, 80 or hundred on any other surface. You stalled the new-ball bowlers, kept them at bay and took your side in a solid position’. And what you said about him batting the way he did is absolutely right," Shastri added.

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