Shikhar Dhawan: THE MAN wishes a quick recovery for India’s opener and return to ICC World Cup 2019

ICC World Cup 2019: Maverick opener, indulgent father, man with humour, romantic husband – what makes Shikhar Dhawan tick?

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The tournament top run-scorer in the 2013 and 2017 Champions Trophy events, as well India's highest run-scorer in the 2015 World Cup, Shikhar Dhawan scored a match-winning knock of 97 (not out) against Kolkata Knight Riders in the recent IPL. No surprise why Shikhar Dhawan, the daredevil batsman in this World Cup 2019, is the champion on the cover of THE MAN this month.  But now he's hurt his thumb and must cheer his teammates from the box until he'd declared fit to take up the bat again.

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This rough and tough guy plays the flute. Generalising means leaving oneself wide open to attacks, but that's the way it is – he is a toughie and seeing him play the flute does seem slightly incongruous. And musicians do dress up formally on stage. To see Shikhar play the flute when he's dressed as if to go out is an unusual sight but only until he puts lips to flute and a haunting melody flows through the room. 

I thought I should learn a new skill in between matches, instead of just sitting around.

He seems familiar with the surprised reaction and is amused. With a grin he explains, “I thought I should learn a new skill in between matches, instead of just sitting around.” He went all out to acquire one, taking lessons and learning how to play the flute formally. So he can play ragas, classical tunes, and lighter ones with aplomb. He loves poetry, too. When asked to recite some of his shayari, he says, “Not my own, yaar. I don't write poetry.” 

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His shaved head, twirling mustache, and limbs covered with tattoos suggest a devil-may-care attitude. That's what stands him in good stead at the crease. This desire to push the envelope, to go to the edge and beyond has the country's hopes pinned on him to open the match with an unbeatable score of runs. The Arjun-with-an-arrow tattoo on his arm is an indicator of his desire to win. The sequence of inking his body started with a bicchhoo (scorpion) done from a roadside tattoo wala. He's off the tattoo phase for the moment but admits its an addiction and can come back anytime. “I don't think I'm done with them,” he says. “I might get some more. Who knows?”

He loves dogs and has some at home in Delhi and in Melbourne. In his free time, he loves to go riding and plans to own some horses one day. His dream is to have a farmhouse and lots of animals, most certainly lots of horses.

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