Featuring for the first time in the Indian Premier League (IPL) since 2016, Rishi Dhawan caught the attention of fans and experts in Match 38 as Punjab Kings (PBKS) took on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday. Coming on to bowl, the all-rounder was seen sporting a protective face shield which got many reactions from Twitter as fans began to tried to figure out the reason. The reason Dhawan was wearing a protective face gear is due to an injury sustained in the Ranji Trophy before IPL 2022 began. The 32-year-old got hit during the second round of fixtures and was also taken to the hospital for scans. Having undergone surgery after being hit, Dhawan is understood to be wearing the mask while bowling. Due to this reason, he also missed the first four matches for Punjab and was also seen in the nets with his mask.
Recently speaking through PBKS’ social media handle, he said, “I am making an IPL comeback after 4 years so it was a little disheartening when I got injured in the Ranji Trophy. I had to go through surgery which ruled me out of the first four matches, but I’m totally fine and available for selection now. I’ve been training hard and hope to have a strong comeback.”
Former cricketer Wasim Jaffer took to Twitter to have his take on the development. He wrote, “Rayudu batting even more aggressively tonight. Rishi Dhawan’s glasses may have reminded him of something #PBKSvCSK #IPL2022”
Another user wrote, “Rishi Dhawan is the man of firsts. He is the first bowler to be wearing a protective mask in #IPL. As @venkatatweets shared he was hit on head in follow through during Ranji Trophy. It should become a normal now since I’ve seen a lot of bowlers getting hit in the follow through”.
“Rishi Dhawan had an injury during Ranji Trophy and making a great comeback in his first match in #IPL2022”, another stated.
Also, Dhawan’s last match in the IPL was for PBKS (then Kings XI Punjab) and he was roped in by the franchise during the mega auction this year for Rs 55 lakh.
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