The balance a cricketer maintains between harnessing his game and respecting his commercial obligations is always under scrutiny. India opener Shikhar Dhawan, despite being in Mumbai for personal work decided to take time out to have a session of intense batting.
A forgettable tour of South Africa, where he scored 12 runs in the three ODIs and 76 in the two Tests, means the Delhi batsman wants to leave no stone unturned as he prepares for the New Zealand tour.
HT had reported on Thursday how, to ensure the break between tours is used to regain his touch, Dhawan had practiced on cement tracks facing heavy plastic balls in Meera Bagh, New Delhi to fine-tune his technique.
To continue with his intense preparation, the 28-year-old requested the coaches at the Mumbai Cricket Association’s (MCA) Bandra Kurla Complex facility for a batting stint on his arrival in the city.
“He came in and told me he wanted to bat for a while. I was amazed at his keenness to practice while here for personal work. He batted for about an hour-and-a-half,” batting coach at BCCI’s special academy, Lalchand Rajput, who was present at the venue, told HT. “He faced Mumbai bowlers who are on the fringes of the Ranji team. He mainly practiced against fast bowlers. He was concentrating as hard as I have ever seen him do.”
If Dhawan’s net session, which started around noon, is an indication, then the left-handed opener appeared in a positive frame of mind. “He was constantly attacking the bowlers. From his mindset today, he looks even more determined to do very well in New Zealand,” Rajput, who has been Dhawan’s coach on various ‘A’ tours, said.
“It is very important to get your feet moving and have them in the right position before you leave for a tour, so his session today was a good move. What is even more impressive is that he told me he could come in on Friday too, which shows his focus.”