Shikhar Dhawan, who had scored 35, 51*, and 76 in first three ODI appearances against South Africa, achieved a rare feat as Indian opener. Known for cheering his team-mates while fielding, the Gabbar of Indian team smashed 109 off 105 balls to become the ninth batsman in the world to reach the coveted three-figure mark in his 100th appearance.
|Mohammad Yousuf||129||Sri Lanka||Sharjah||4/17/2002|
|KC Sangakkara||101||Australia||Colombo (RPS)||2/27/2004|
|ME Trescothick||100*||Bangladesh||The Oval||6/16/2005|
Only Hashim Amla stands ahead of Shikhar Dhawan after this extraordinary feat. By two sixes and ten fours, the 32-year-old Indian batsman becomes the first Indian batsman to score 100-plus runs in his 100th ODI. Earlier, in a 1999 World Cup game, Sourav Ganguly had come close to scoring a century in his 100th ODI. Unluckily, Dada was dismissed at 97 in that occasion.
Dhawan got his nickname, Gabbar, before he started playing for India on 20 October 2010. A fantastic story is associated behind this name. He shared the incident behind his nickname while on an interview with Harsha Bhogle. It was given by him by his Ranji team coach Vijay Dahiya. “I used to stand at silly-point in Ranji Trophy matches and when the opposition gets big partnerships, my team would feel demotivated and I would shout ‘Bahut Yarana Lagtha Hai (A famous dialogue in Sholay movie which was used by Gabbar (Amjad Khan) in the movie),” the 32-year-old opener said in his interview.
After an early blow, Dhawan and Kohli added 158 runs to the scoreboard. This partnership helped India to move to a competitive total of 289/7. It was the eighth occasion when Dhawan and Kohli were involved in a 100-run-stand for the second wicket. Dhawan-Kohli equals Dravid-Ganguly record in this regard. However, India lost the game by five wickets (D/L method). Heinrich Klaasen, who was adjudged as the man of the match, scored unbeaten 43 which helped South Africa maintain their unbeaten ‘Pink ODI’ streak. The fifth ODI between India and South Africa will be held on February 16 at Port Elizabeth.