Shikhar Dhawan ended a monumental year in Twenty20 Internationals with a blazing 41 off 22 balls in the third and deciding Twenty20 International against Australia in Sydney as he put Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team on course for a series-levelling win. During the course of his knock, the left-hander created a new world record as he accumulated the most runs in a calendar year, be it men’s or women’s T20Is. During the course of his knock, Dhawan went past New Zealand woman cricketer Suzie Bates’ tally of 670 runs in 2018 as the Indian opener finished the year with 689 runs at an average of 43 with six fifties.
After the end of the Brisbane game, Dhawan had 648 runs in 16 games in 2018, breaking Kohli’s mark of 641 runs which he achieved in 2016 15 games at a staggering average of 106. Only three Indians have ever crossed 500 runs in a calendar year in Twenty20 Internationals. Apart from Kohli and Dhawan, Rohit smashed 567 runs in 2018 at an average of 37.
Dhawan has been the leading run-getter for India in the series against Australia, smashing 76 in the first match in Brisbane which India lost by four runs. In 2018, he has enjoyed a phenomenal year, scoring an aggressive 72 against South Africa. The left-hander began the Nidahas Trophy tri-series with aggressive fifties against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. After scoring a blazing 74 against Ireland, Dhawan had a poor series against England but he returned in style for the West Indies series at home, smashing 92 to help India achieve a 3-0 clean sweep of the two-time World T20 champions.
However, unlike Dhawan, Bates did score a hundred when she smashed 124* against South Africa in Taunton.
Dhawan’s magnificent form at the top of the order has played a huge role in India registering seven consecutive bilateral series wins in Twenty20 Internationals. In the last couple of years, they have drawn a series against Australia in India and have suffered two series losses only to the West Indies. His blazing start at the top has given India a great chance to ensure their unbeaten bilateral series run in 2018 continues.