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IPL gives us confidence of doing well in South Africa, says Dhawan

Last updated on: November 29, 2013 23:23 IST

'IPL gives us confidence of doing well in South Africa series'

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Harish Kotian

India opener Shikhar Dhawan exuded confidence ahead of the crucial tour of South Africa, saying the Indians will go into the series well-prepared and the experience of playing South African pacers in the IPL will prove beneficial.

"I feel that all players in our side have benefited from the IPL, because we got a chance to play against international bowlers. The nervousness when facing international bowlers is no longer there because we already faced them in the IPL. When you perform against them in the IPL] you get the confidence that if you can do well in the IPL against them you can do well when playing for India as well.

"We are all very confident going into the South Africa series that we will do well. We did well in England; even in the West Indies we did well, and our aim will be do well in South Africa and win the series," said Dhawan, in Mumbai, on Friday. 

India will play three ODIs and two Tests in South Africa, from December 5 to 30, after a clash between the Board of Control for Cricket in India and Cricket South Africa forced the original itinerary to be cut short.


Image: Shikhar Dhawan
Photographs: BCCI

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'Our preparation will be according to the pitch'

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Dhawan will also take confidence from his blistering innings of 248 for India 'A' against South Africa 'A' in the A-Teams tri-series in April.

The left-hander, who aggregated 410 in four matches at an average of 102 to finish as the top scorer, said that performance will be a big boost for him.

"I went to South Africa before (with India 'A') and performed well. So you have the advantage of having played on those pitches and performed well.

"I can take confidence from that. The pitches there will be good. It will be helpful for the bowlers and batsmen will also enjoy playing on the bouncy tracks. Our preparation will be according to the pitch."


Image: Shikhar Dhawan
Photographs: BCCI

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'We will get bouncy tracks in South Africa'

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The left-handed opener said the experience of having played top Australian fast bowlers in the seven-match ODI series will stand them in good stead.

"We will get bouncy tracks in South Africa. The good is thing is that when you are facing Australia, you re facing quality fast bowlers, like Mitchell Johnson and others.

"We guys have been playing so much of cricket that we are totally into cricket, and we don’t get much time for preparation; like now, we have got just three days' off.

"I guess the boys need rest and to get out of the cricket mode for two to three days at least and then come back. Before playing the first match there we will have a few days of preparation on those pitches to get used to it," he said.

 


Image: Shikhar Dhawan
Photographs: BCCI

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'We will miss Sachin Paaji in the side'

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This will be India’s first series after Sachin Tendulkar retirement, and Dhawan believes that though the team will miss the batting icon, it has good enough players to cope up with his absence.

"Sachin Paaji was a great player and we will miss him in the side. His experience and presence in the dressing room was big for us.

"But now we got all the players and the good thing is that all the batsmen have done well; and the bowlers too... and we got a great fielding side. That is a big bonus for us.

"I feel that our team is very confident. As a team we are gelling very nicely and looking forward to the SA tour," the batsman added.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: BCCI

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'I don't let the nervousness get the better of me'

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Dhawan, who started his Test career with a blazing knock of 187 on debut against Australia, in Mohali, in March, is one of India’s top performers in 2013, having scored six international hundreds (five ODI and one Test) this year.

He said the nervousness generally associated in the 90s with batsmen does not bother him, as he looks to play normally when closing in on the three-figure mark.

"I just try to play normally when in the 90s. I try to reduce the nervousness which you generally get in the 90s. I control myself and try to keep it normal and look to continue in the same way that I am playing. Once you cross hundred all the nervousness goes away.

"So that's what I try and do. I don’t let the nervousness get the better of me. When you bat in the 90s you get thoughts to hit a six, but you have to control that and continue playing.

"You have to play according to the situation of the match, and according to how the bowler is bowling," he said.


Image: Shikhar Dhawan
Photographs: BCCI

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