He loves twirling his moustache, sports tattoos on his bulging biceps, often comes to training riding customised Hayabusa bikes — in a nutshell Shikhar Dhawan epitomised everything that was ‘larger than life’ in Delhi cricketing fraternity till Virat Kohli arrived.
The left-hander is affectionately called “Gabbar” by his Delhi teammates for his hulk like body and enormous amount of power he packs in his shots.
Dhawan used to arrive at the Feroze Shah Kotla in his sleeveless vests and shorts riding a customised 1000cc motorcycle.
A former Delhi stalwart who had played a few ODIs for India in the early 80s was stunned to see Dhawan arriving on his ‘mean machine’. “Beta yeh bike kitne ki khareedi apne?” the former player asked, and pat came the reply, “It’s for Rs 25 lakh.”
“Then why didn’t you buy a Mercedes?” the dumbfound ex-cricketer said. “Woh bhi khareed lenge sir (I will buy that also sir),” a smiling Dhawan said non-chalantly.
Some termed he had a casual approach, whereas others thought that he had the ability to keep things simple, Dhawan has been the topic of discussion in Delhi’s cricket circle for a number of years now.
The 27-year-old Dhawan first came into limelight when he scored three centuries in the U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh way back in 2004. Some of his U-19 teammates like Suresh Raina, R P Singh, Dinesh Karthik all donned the national jersey much before and it became an agonising wait for the affable man.
“We are happy that it has been a worthwhile wait,” said Shrestha Dhawan, his sister.
His one-time teammate and now Delhi coach Vijay Dahiya would tell you that “one poor shot in 2010-11” Ranji season changed his approach.
“Delhi needed 136 to win against Railways with a day and 10 overs left. Shikhar played a rank bad shot and Delhi lost the match and failed to make it to the knock-out stages. He was criticised a lot. This year on a green-top at the Roshanara, Shikhar anchored a 270-run fourth innings chase with a matured knock,” Dahiya said.
Once a regular at the Page 3 parties, Dhawan has now turned into a devoted family man post his marriage to half Bengali-half British Aesha Mukherjee.
Dhawan is affectionately called Gabbar by teammates for his sturdy body and
enormous amount of power he packs in his shots. He used to arrive at the stadium on a customised 1000cc bike.