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AB de Villiers thrilled to see Shikhar Dhawan 2.0: He has got a lot of runs in him in IPL 2023

South Africa great AB de Villiers heaped rich praise on Punjab Kings captain Shikhar Dhawan for his magnificent 86-run knock in a thrilling five-run victory over Rajasthan Royals in the IPL 2023 match in Guwahati.

In Short

  • AB de Villiers has tipped Shikhar Dhawan to score a lot of runs in IPL 2023
  • Shikhar Dhawan helped Punjab Kings finish strongly with the bat vs RR
  • AB de Villiers was impressed with Dhawan’s unorthodox shot in his 86-run knock

By PosterGuy: South Africa legend AB de Villiers was in awe of Shikhar Dhawan’s refreshing batting performance against Rajasthan Royals and backed the Punjab Kings captain to have a high-scoring season with the bat in the ongoing IPL season.

Dhawan and Prabhsimran Singh hit brilliant fifties before Nathan Ellis’ bowling exploits helped PBKS register a nail-biting five-run victory over Rajasthan Royals in an IPL match on Wednesday. After being asked to bat, young Prabhsimran (60) and veteran skipper Dhawan (86 not out) pummelled the Rajasthan Royals bowling attack, propelling Punjab Kings to a challenging 197 for 4.

IPL 2023: Full Coverage | Points Table

“He is an incredible player. To get that inning together for the team. Let’s not forget about his partner up front. He took a bit of pressure off Shikhar so that he could play his own game, manipulate the ball and took his game really, until he found a sniff,” AB de Villiers said while speaking on JioCinema after the match.

Dhawan effortlessly switched gears as he was 30 off 30 balls at one point while playing second fiddle to Prabhsimran. Dhawan upped the ante after his opening partner was dismissed, scoring 56 off the next 26 balls he faced.

Dhawan, who appeared to be struggling with the bat until the last ball of the 12th over, broke the shackles with a six-over long-on off Yuzvendra Chahal. After that Chahal returned in the 14th over only for Dhawan to hit him for three fours: a sweep, a whip, and an inside-out.

He then unleashed laps and reverse slaps on the seamers, prompting AB de Villiers to say during the half-time show, “To be honest, I haven’t seen him play like that.” Perhaps it was Dhawan’s reverse six off Jason Holder in the 18th over that made AB perk up like that. Dhawan had turned around for the reverse, but Holder speared it fully, but he managed to lift one leg up and scoop-drag it for a stunning six – a flamingo reverse drag-flick. He then lapped KM Asif for a six over fine-leg to complete the race unbeaten.

“It started when the spinners came on in the middle-overs. The spinners took a pounding tonight. Look at him moving around, I have never seen him playing like this. It is refreshing and I think he has got a lot of runs in him this season,” De Villiers added.


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