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Shikhar Dhawan reveals ‘key to India’s success’ ahead of 3rd ODI vs South Africa

Shikhar Dhawan said that the Indian cricket team will be looking to clinch the series when they face South Africa in the third ODI encounter in Cape Town on Wednesday.

cricket Updated: Feb 06, 2018 20:42 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times, Cape Town
Shikhar Dhawan,South Africa vs India,Indian cricket team
Shikhar Dhawan will be key for India when they take on South Africa in the 3rd ODI in Cape Town on Wednesday.(AFP)

Apart from the dominance of Indian spinners, one of the positives for India in the ODI series so far has been Shikhar Dhawan’s form. The opener, who was dropped from the last two Tests, has looked solid and were it not for a poor call from Virat Kohli in the first ODI at Durban that led to his run out, he may have ended being the eventual hero of that game. (LIVE STREAMING)

Dhawan made up for that in the second ODI and scored an unbeaten half-century as India cantered to a low target without any hicups following their eight-wicket victory in the first match.

Chasing totals has no doubt become India’s strength of late and a good start is what is making it possible. “The key to our success is not losing (too many) wickets early on. Of course the South African fast bowling is very strong, but we are playing them nicely. And once we cross the first 10 overs, the ball gets a bit older and the scoring becomes a bit easier,” Dhawan said at the pre-match presser.

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India in fact haven’t lost too many wickets even after 10 overs in the first two ODIs. Even in the ODI series preceding this, at home against Sri Lanka and New Zealand, India did not lose more than one wicket in the first 10 overs barring two occasions. Even though one opener often got out, the other stayed on and scored runs.

That has made things easier for batsmen coming lower down.

The good thing about India is that they have been playing their strokes and getting runs even as their opposition can either be circumspect and not score, or if they want to score quickly end up losing wickets. “You’re playing one-day cricket so you have to score runs. If you defend 50 balls and don’t score, then that’s of no use,” he said even as the Proteas are finding it tough to score quickly without losing wickets.

Saying that he is now better prepared to succeed here as this is his second tour Dhawan added that the axing from the Test XI didn’t affect him.

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“My form was good. Even when I wasn’t playing, I was batting like this. The only thing is when I was not playing I worked harder, made myself fitter – I had time. I knew what I needed to work on and what challenges I could face here, what their bowlers will do to get me out.”

First Published: Feb 06, 2018 19:55 IST