Tarak Sinha is a coach many Delhi cricketers swear by. He has a knack of spotting talent and if he sees a spark in any cricketer he is bound to go places. The latest to come out of his stable of long list of international cricketers is Shikhar Dhawan.
Sinha sees the evolution of his ward is a testimony to not only his ability to produce top-rated cricketers but also a tribute to the ability of the national selectors to take domestic cricket a little more seriously.
Tarak is mighty pleased at Dhawan’s arrival on the international scene with a bang.
"I am very happy for him, no mean achievement to get a big hundred in his debut Test. He came to me as a 12-year-old and his progress has been steady, even if he has made the Test grade a trifle late, but I knew he would come good, if given the chance," Sinha told IANS.
Any cricketer would be under tremendous pressure if he has to replace a batsman of Virender Sehwag’s calibre and imagine if it happens to be his first Test.
Maybe, Dhawan was not all that unnerved because he has seen Sehwag from close quarters, being part of the Delhi dressing room, and also learnt a thing or two about pacing his innings from the Najafagarh marauder who, plundered runs unhindered.
Sinha, who after piloting Rajasthan to win the Ranji Trophy for the first time, is now shaping the destiny of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Jhanrkhand team, and he is delighted to see young cricketers making a big impact internationally.
“Nowadays domestic performance is being given more weightage and it is a welcome change. We have to give chance to new players, we can't let the game stagnate," said Sinha.
Dhawan, 27, has not come out of the blue. A thinking cricketer, he works out all aspects of his game meticulously.
He has forced his way into the national squad after a prolific first-class season which saw him amass 955 runs in 11 matches at an average of 63.06. And in the last couple of seasons he did well at all levels.
Overall in first-class matches Dhawan averages 45.79 scoring 5679 runs in 81 matches with 16 hundreds and 24 half-centuries to his name.
Sinha, who can proudly claim to have guided the destiny of internationals Randhir Singh, Manoj Prabhakar, the late Raman Lamba, Surinder Khanna, K. P. Bhaskar , Atul Wassan, Ajay Sharma, Sanjeev Sharma, Ashish Nehra, Akash Chopra and now Dhawan, is not easily satisfied.
Even as he complimented Dhawan for his stupendous achievement, he wants to see him on the tour of South Africa this November before marking him down as a successful opener.
"His real test will come when he tours South Africa. I am confident that with his experience of performing well overseas with India A, he should do well in South Africa," said Sinha.
"Yes, he may be 27, but he's matured and he has a lot of cricket left in him.”
Asked if the Indian Premier League (IPL) has anything to do is Dhawan’s blossoming into an attacking batsman, Sinha said: "It has helped him a lot. He got to face top class bowlers from all over the world and that made a lot of difference. There is little doubt he got good mileage from IPL which domestic cricket failed to provide."
But, before IPL, it is Sinha’s club side Sonnet honed Dhawan’s skills like it did in the case all those international players from Delhi.