When Shikhar Dhawan walks out to bat against Pakistan a dead-rubber match at Edgbaston on Saturday, he will do so with the opportunity to score three successive ODI centuries. On return to the ODI side for nearly to years, Dhawan scored a stroke-filled 114 against South Africa in Cardiff last Thursday and on Tuesday at The Oval he smashed an unbeaten 102 off 107 balls to guide India to an eight-wicket win over West Indies that took them into the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy.
Scoring two consecutive centuries is no rare occurrence. In ODI history, 78 times have batsmen achieved this; however, only four have made it a hat-trick - Zaheer Abbas, Saeed Anwar, Herschelle Gibbs and AB de Villiers. Before Dhawan, eight Indian batsman have scored two straight ODI centuries: Gautam Gambhir, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. The last Indian batsman to find himself with the chance of scoring a hat-trick of ODI centuries was Kohli in 2012.
The most recent batsmen to find himself in that place was New Zealand opener Martin Guptill, after he scored 103* and 189* against England in a short series before the Champions Trophy.
Only four batsmen in the history of ODI cricket have scored three hundreds in consecutive matches; in Birmingham Dhawan has a chance to become the first Indian to do so.
Most hundreds in consecutive ODI innings:
3 - Zaheer Abbas - 118, 105, 113 (all against India) in 1982-83
3 - Saeed Anwar - 107 v SL, 131 v WI, 111 v SL in 1993
3 - Herschelle Gibbs - 116 v KEN, 116* v IND, 153 v BAN in 2002
3 - AB de Villiers - 114* & 102* v IND, 102 v WI in 2010
Have your say: Do you think Dhawan looks good for a hat-trick of ODI tons?