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Saturday, Dec 07, 2019

‘Guess I wasn’t consistent with shot selection in Tests,’ Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan has joined the Delhi T20 team and will play the last three league games of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Before flying to Surat for domestic T20s, Dhawan spoke about his injury at World Cup and more in this interview.

cricket Updated: Nov 15, 2019 08:02 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India opener Shikhar Dhawan.
India opener Shikhar Dhawan.(Getty Images)
         

Shikhar Dhawan, who helped India win the T20 series against Bangladesh recently, wants to use the domestic season as platform to make a Test comeback.

The left-handed batsman, who hasn’t played a Test for over a year, has joined the Delhi T20 team and will play the last three league games of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He is planning to use the StanceBeam Striker, a bat sensor that provides data on back-lift and bat-speed.

Before flying to Surat for domestic T20s, Dhawan spoke about his injury at World Cup and more in this interview.

Excerpts...

Injury hampered a strong start to the World Cup which you began with a century.

It was a big opportunity. But injuries are part of the game. I did my best even after getting hurt, scoring a century and we won the game (against Australia). It was a great feeling. At the same time, I knew that I had a fracture. It is disappointing but if I can’t give 100% to the team, there is no point continuing. Better, I let somebody else do that.

You have got good starts in recent T20Is but haven’t been able to convert them into fifties. Is that a concern?

It is not a concern. If you see my previous series, I made 30s and 40s. You don’t always set fifty as a benchmark. I have been playing more aggressively. If you had seen the South Africa series, I was doing my role, scoring at a brisk rate. I don’t pay attention to turning 40s into 50s. If it is done, it is done. In Delhi (T20 against Bangladesh), the wicket was a bit tough so I had to play carefully. But apart from that, I have been going after the bowling. And that’s because our batting line-up is strong. If they are provided early momentum, they can go for runs.

WATCH: ‘Will come back with T20 World Cup next year,’ Shikhar Dhawan

 

What’s the pressure like at the top with so many youngsters?

One of the top three batsmen has to stay 15 overs though he has to play his own game. See, in T20 it is very clear. I have to go and whack the ball and score as many runs as possible and at a good pace. The middle-order players can take it from there. This is a great opportunity for youngsters. That is a very, very good sign for us.

You didn’t score as many centuries outside Asia. Does it hurt being out of the Test side?

I guess England is the only place where I couldn’t score much. In Australia too, I had an 80 but yeah, I had less runs. In New Zealand, I scored a bit. So that sometimes rankles but, of course, I gave my best. But it doesn’t mean that I will not be able to make a comeback. If I get an opportunity, I will definitely do it again. Because with time you get experience.

What went wrong in Tests?

More than style, it could be shot selection. Where you have to defend and where you have to throw the bat. You play differently in different places. So I guess I wasn’t consistent enough on that aspect. (But) I have an average of 40 (40.61) in Tests.

How do you see Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma becoming India’s new openers?

Yeah, they are doing very well. I wish them well and bless them. They’ve come up well.

How do you rate your chances?

I work as hard as I can. Beyond that, whatever I deserve I will get. I love playing cricket and keep my focus on the process. Like I am playing ODI, T20, when I play Ranji too, I’ll definitely try to perform. I am sure I’ll be a strong contender for the Test side. When you get runs, they speak (for you). I remain forever young at heart. You’ve seen me play Ranji for so long, my energy and determination remains the same.

How do you see the new batting coach, Vikram Rathour?

Vikrambhai is a good coach. He started just two months back. He is a strong character, gives ideas and views. Even Sanjaybhai did a good job, we did so well under him. Every personality is different. They have their own ideas, ways and styles. I don’t believe in comparisons. The basics remain the same; the way they say it or explain is different.

Your thoughts on captaincy of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

They are different characters. They have their strengths and both are doing so well for the team. Rohit has great experience in IPL. Virat has been doing so well, winning for us.

On Rishabh Pant.

Every player goes through a phase when he is not performing.