It has been close to a year since India's attacking left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan made a scintillating Test debut against Australia at Mohali where he plundered a breathtaking century. The hard-working Delhi lad enjoyed a dream start but was faced with a lot of hurdles ahead. He can now look back and take stock of what has been a roller-coaster 12 months in top-flight cricket.
Dhawan carried the highs of a splendid debut to England where India beat the hosts in the final to clinch the ICC Champions Trophy 2013. With 363 runs in five innings at an exceptional average of 90.75, Dhawan finished as the best batsman of the tournament by a mile. He slammed back-to-back centuries against South Africa and the West Indies in the tournament and proved to the selectors that he was no one-match wonder and that he was ready to take up the mantle of opening the batting for India across formats. Stepping into the shoes of Delhi teammates, Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag, the task was cut out for him and he took the chance like it was his last.
Dhawan continued to enjoy more success with the bat in the tri-series between India, West Indies and Sri Lanka in the West Indies, followed by a tour to Zimbabwe where a lot of senior players like MS Dhoni and Ravichandran Ashwin were given a break. There too, he slammed an ODI century. The purple patch continued as India hosted Australia in a seven-match ODI series. With scores of 98, 100 and 60 across the seven matches and at a strike rate of 123.29, Dhawan displayed the right mix of positive intent and consistency.
Then came the first blip. During Sachin Tendulkar's farewell Test series in India against the West Indies, Dhawan failed to emulate his form from ODIs in Tests. In the ODI series against the West Indies, he slammed another ton to become the first cricketer to score