Sunrisers Hyderabad will bank upon the skills and personality of Shikhar Dhawan, its first Indian captain, to come good in this year’s IPL
It will be a different first in the high-profile Indian Premier League 2014 edition when India opener Shikhar Dhawan takes over as captain of the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). . So far only foreigners have been captains of the Hyderabad teams — Adam Gilchrist and Cameron White led the Deccan Chargers (the first franchisee which is replaced by SRH in 2013) for the first two years and then Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara in the inaugural edition for Sunrisers last year. Shikar Dhawan was, in fact, the captain of the team in the CL T-20 championship last season.
With the official announcement of Dhawan’s captaincyon Monday, the ball is set rolling to build the momentum for the SRH as it prepares for the new edition whose first two legs will be held in UAE and Bangladesh.
Significantly, this 28-year-old fighter has been the lead-scorer for Sunrisers in its debut season– scoring 311 runs at 38.87 — and is expected to lead by example this year. An easy going character off the field, he has been one of the shining examples of a gifted cricketer making it big, though a bit late, in one’s career.
Right now, partnering Rohit Sharma, Dhawan is one of the mainstays of India’s campaign in the on-going T-20 World Cup in Bangladesh where M.S Dhoni’s men are desperate to regain the trophy having won it in the inaugural 2007 edition in South Africa. With the team scheduled to have a brief training session at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad before flying to UAE, Dhawan will get a feel of what it means to be a leader of a team which has some explosive cricketers like the irrepressible vice-captain West Indian Darren Sammy, big-hitting Australians Aaron Finch and David Warner, South African speedster Dale Steyn and Zimbabwean Brendon Taylor.
For a team which won 10 out of the 16 matches to make it to the play-offs, Sunrisers should be keen to keep improving.With the likes of head coach Tom Moody, former India opener Krishnamachari Srikkanth, classy V.V.S Laxman being part of the think tank, SRH seems to have already got into the preparatory mode to make a bigger impact in this year’s IPL. The captaincy can well present Dhawan with a perfect opportunity to lead from the front – literally – with his skills with the willow.