India’s premier opening batsman – Shikhar Dhawan is all set to return to his local side Delhi Daredevils (DD) in the next edition of cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) after a long 11 year hiatus. As per a report in ESPNcricinfo, the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) management are not keen to retain Dhawan and are willing to trade him in exchange for three all-rounders from Delhi – Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, and Shahbaz Nadeem.
The 32-year old opener last played for Daredevils in the first edition of IPL way back in 2008. Later, he moved to Mumbai for a couple of years before finally strengthening the Hyderabad squad. Dhawan played for Deccan Chargers for a year before joining Sunrisers in 2013.
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In the last year’s player auction, Sunrisers retained the southpaw for a hefty price of INR 5.2 crore (approx USD 820,000). However, the rumours started doing the rounds after reports emerged that Dhawan was unhappy with the price and that has apparently forced Sunrisers to release him.
Since Daredevils had bought the trio of Shankar (INR 3.2 cr), Nadeem (INR 3.2 cr) and Abhishek (INR 55 lakhs) for a total of INR 6.95 crore, Sunrisers would need to pay the balance amount in cash.
Dhawan has been the leading run-scorer for Sunrisers with a tally of 2768 from 91 innings at an average of 35.03 and strike-rate of 125.13. In the 2018 IPL, he made 497 runs at 35.50. His impressive strike-rate was 142.82, better than his normal strike-rate of 136.91.
Although regular captain David Warner was the force behind Sunrisers’ IPL win in 2016, Dhawan also played a key role at the top of the order. In fact, the Warner-Dhawan combine (2357) is the third-most prolific pairing behind Chris Gayle-Virat Kohli (2787) and AB de Villiers-Kohli (2525).
If the deal becomes official, it will be the second big trade ahead of the next IPL auction, scheduled for December 16. Earlier, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) had released Proteas wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock to Mumbai Indians in a money-only trade. The other trade in the first trading window was RCB releasing Mandeep Singh to Kings XI Punjab in exchange for Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis.
Unfortunately, Dhawan missed out from India’s Test squad for the much-awaited tour to Down Under. He will be making comeback to domestic cricket and will be in action for Delhi in Ranji Trophy.