For the World Cup 2019, hopes ride high and there are great expectations from Shikhar Dhawan, who was India's highest run-scorer in the 2015 World Cup. A whopping 117 against Australia in the WC 2019, a huge factor that took the score to win us the match at a comfortable 352/5. Now, he has hurt his thumb and cannot return to the field before 3 weeks.
Dhawan is an ace batsman, aggressive and fearless at the crease. How is he off the field, particularly at home with his kids?
As a lad, Shikhar was full of beans and couldn't sit still. He was into all sorts of sports – which he is into even now – football, karate, TT, squash. He would do stunts with his bicycle or go roller skating on the streets in his neighbourhood. Sometimes, that got him into trouble with his parents and he would be grounded and locked inside the house. That didn't stop him, however. He would manage to escape through the window. For his efforts, he'd get a whacking or his ears pulled.
If Zoravar is playing and falls, I don't rush to pick him up. I know he'll get back on his feet by himself
Now as a father himself, he dotes on Zoravar, his five-year-old. He believes in disciplining the boy by talking to him or putting him in a 'naughty corner.' No whacking the kid for childish exuberance or infractions.
Dhawan is not a hyper parent. “If Zoravar is playing and falls, I don't rush to pick him up. I know he'll get back on his feet by himself. We have to teach our children these things. But if he's misbehaving in a mall or anywhere, I tick him off immediately; he's not allowed to get away with anything.”
Then there are his daughters from his wife's first marriage. There were custody issues that eventually got sorted out, but the girls aren't allowed to leave Melbourne. So the whole family gets together when Shikhar has time off to be with them. “There is no awkwardness or acceptance issues,” he says when prodded. “You should see the way they jump on me when I get home.” There's an element of pride when he reveals, “The older one wants to be a dog whisperer.”
He's passing on a certain decorum to all his children that he himself grew up with. He's particular about the way they talk, or behave around elders, how they serve water or food. And yet they each have their personalities and get into clashes. When his daughters fight with him, his wife says it's okay, as that's how they will learn to stand up for themselves when they leave the nest. His little five-year-old already has ego clashes with him. “You have to understand the dynamic,” Shikhar explains with amusement. “He's the man of the house when I'm not there, so when I come home the equation changes and the little tyke has an ego.”