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'I'm playing for next 3 years at least. Can still contribute in T20 format': India star opens up about his future goals

He did not find a place in the last T20 World Cup squad but the seasoned batter believes his experience can come in handy in the T20 set-up.
Indian team celebrates after dismissing Sri Lanka's Bhanuka Rajapaksa(REUTERS)
Published on May 21, 2022 11:38 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Head coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma have been handed the tricky task of finding the perfect team combination and assigning specific roles to players as India gear up for this year's T20 World Cup. Furthermore, a bunch of players have made a strong case for selection in the T20 side with impressive performances in the ongoing IPL edition. IPL 2022 Full Coverage

Shikhar Dhawan has also raised his hand for a return to the shorter format. Over the years, the batter has become synonymous with runs in the IPL. The left-handed opener has had another impressive spell with the bat, having notched up 421 runs for Punjab Kings with one game remaining in the season. 

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Dhawan, 36, is the second-highest run-scorer in the T20 tournament with 500-run seasons in 2012, 2016, 2019, 2020 and 2021. While the seasoned batter has maintained his consistency, the current competition in the Indian team makes it tough for him to secure a place in the T20 side. 

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Dhawan did not find a place in the last T20 World Cup squad but the player believes his experience can come in handy in the T20 set-up. “Though I remain an integral part of the team, I still feel that I can contribute in the shortest format because of my experience. I have been quite doing well in the T20 format. Whatever role I have been given I have done well,” Dhawan told PTI.

"I have managed to stay consistent in the formats that I am playing, whether it is the IPL or at the domestic level and I am enjoying it. Consistency is not only about scoring fifties or hundreds frequently, but also about maintaining even gaps between such scores," he added.

Dhawan, who led a young Indian camp in Sri Lanka last year, missed out on the World Cup spot but he is being "positive" to focus only on the controllable.

"Yes, I am a very positive person. It was a dream come true for me leading the team last year. For the T20 World Cup, they thought the (chosen) players were better than me and fair enough. Whatever decision selectors make, I respect that. That happens in life. You accept it and keep doing your job. I only focus on what is in my control and try to make the most of the opportunities that I get," he said.

Dhawan is expected to make a T20 comeback with the home series against South Africa beginning June 9. He has been uniform when it comes to scoring runs and doesn't believe to burden himself with the pressure to deliver. On his future plans, Dhawan, who will be 37 this December, said he is definitely playing for at least another three years. He has so far played 34 Tests, 149 ODIs and 68 T20s for India since his debut in 2010.

"I don't put unnecessary pressure on myself. It's a race that never ends. If I get into that mindset, I will not be happy and it's not good energy. My ODI average is 45.53. I am always looking for growth, analysing if I can get better.

"We as cricketers have to remain on our toes and fit to be relevant in the race to represent India. I am playing for the next three years at least. I have been batting quite well for the past few years, I am hopeful and positive that the way I am performing, there are many milestones to achieve," Dhawan further said.

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