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India opener Shikhar Dhawan happy to learn from failures, keep bouncing back

Shikhar Dhawan, who won the Golden Bat at the ICC Champions Trophy for the second successive edition, remains on the edge despite the brilliant recent past

india vs west indies 2017 Updated: Jun 28, 2017 23:41 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times, North Sound (Antigua)
India vs West Indies,India vs Windies,IND v WI
Shikhar Dhawan won the Golden Bat at the ICC Champions Trophy earlier this month for the second consecutive edition.(REUTERS)

Shikhar Dhawan has endured so many failures in his career that a new one now doesn’t affect his morale. At least, that’s what he says.

The Delhi batsman, who won the Golden Bat at the ICC Champions Trophy for the second successive edition, remains on the edge despite the brilliant recent past. For, when the young KL Rahul returns from injury lay-off, the left-hander could face some anxious moments. A toss-up perhaps with Ajinkya Rahane, primarily because Rahul is the one for the future and Rohit Sharma looks set.

Shikhar acknowledges the hard road.

“I know that it’s a race that never ends. I can always come back. If someone has gone ahead of me, I can go ahead of them again. And that’s how my mentality has become,” he says, having taken in his stride countless failures.

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Fighting back

“You fall one time and then you fall again and again, but then you still move on. I feel failures are very important. Today, of course, people feel failures are very bad or they make it look like that. But they are the things that teach you. I always embrace failures, I was never frustrated with them,” he explains.

Dhawan has learnt the art of waiting, since the U-19 World Cup in 2004. He returned as the highest run-getter, but had to wait as many players who featured in the later editions went ahead and made their India debuts.

And when he eventually got an opportunity in 2010, he failed. But he bounced back. Then he was dropped but bounced back again. In his most recent comeback, he grabbed the opportunities in the Deodhar Trophy to return to form. From there, he has gone from strength to strength.

In a way, this bumpy career track puts him in a unique position. It doesn’t qualify him as a senior or junior. “I like to be in a place where I can be approachable for all the sides, seniors as well as juniors,” he justifies it, before opening up on patience, a quality he has imbibed after a flashy approach in his earlier innings.

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Staying calm

The string of fifties and hundred in the Champions Trophy to fifties in the first two ODIs in the West Indies, built quite patiently, have ensured India got steady starts in recent times.

“I felt I was rushing towards things rather than things coming to me. I went back and worked hard on my skills,” he says, while refusing to explain the things he has worked on. “Those are minor things, nothing major. But I don’t like talking about them because they are a secret.”

The left-hander endured a poor run here in Tests last year. He says he was getting starts but wasn’t able to build on them.

With Rahul and M Vijay around, he is unlikely to get a chance in Tests now.

“When I was playing West Indies, of course I did all the hard work. I was in 20s and 30s and was getting out. It was not that I was throwing it away, but unfortunately I was getting out. But in my mind I knew that -- and it’s been happening to me over the years -- I knew I was set there. Destiny or luck plays an important role. So, sometimes it comes naturally and you can’t control it. So you have to let it go. Maybe at 23 or 24, it would have been different. But now, I have a calmer mind and know what to do, what my responsibilities are and what my team needs and is demanding from me.”

First Published: Jun 28, 2017 23:10 IST