New Delhi: Paying rich tribute to Shikhar Dhawan for his maiden ODI century against South Africa, former India skipper Kapil Dev said the Delhi left-hander was the future of Indian cricket.
The 1983 World Cup-winning captain is so excited with Dhawan's batting performance against a four-pronged South African pace attack during India's Champions Trophy match that he summed up the opener's 114 in just one word, "fabulous".
Kapil sees Dhawan as one for the future.
"Shikhar is the future of Indian cricket and how well he handled the situation (on a new wicket that had bounce). It's time to move ahead (with new players)," he was quoted as saying by NDTV.com.
Dhawan's innings and his 127-run opening stand with Rohit Sharma gave India the foundation to post an imposing 331 for seven wickets. South Africa lost the match by 26 runs, their third straight defeat against India in the history of the Champions Trophy.
Kapil feels the Dhawan-Sharma partnership is here to stay.
"The decision to drop Murli Vijay may be questioned, but I personally feel the idea to open the innings with Shikhar and Rohit was all right," said Kapil.
The former Indian Test captain said it was time for Indian cricket to move on.
"This is transition time for Indian cricket and we should count on the current crop of players available. As commentators we have not even discussed a Sachin, a Sehwag, a Ganguly or a Gambhir," he said.
"At least I am not missing any one of them and neither is the crowd here. No one cares for who is not playing. People are talking about Shikhar Dhawan and not Tendulkar or Sehwag and herein lay a clear message for Indian cricket," the 54-year-old cricketer-turned-television commentator said.