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'Courageous' Dhawan enjoys pressure situations

June 07, 2013 10:06 IST

'We adjusted to the conditions well and once we settled down, the runs started coming'

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Shikhar Dhawan put it down to "patience" as the trick to his maiden ODI century at the Swalec Stadium in Cardiff, as India began their campaign in the ICC Champions Trophy on a winning note on Thursday.

Dhawan slammed a brilliant 114 that helped India score an imposing 331 for seven against South Africa in the opening match of the tournament.

"I am happy with the knock I played but happier because we won a game that was actually getting quite close," he said.

There was another 'maiden' experience for Dhawan on Thursday. When the team left Indian shores it was almost certain that the left-handed Dhawan would open the batting with Murali Vijay. But the decisive 127-run opening stand almost certainly means that Dhawan's partner for the rest of the group matches will be Rohit Sharma, who scored a polished 65.

"It was nice to play with Rohit. He is such a pleasure to watch and really runs the singles very well. We adjusted to the conditions very well and once we settled down, the runs started coming. It was quite a job," Dhawan said.


Image: Shikhar Dhawan
Photographs: Michael Steele/Getty Images

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Dhawan said the absence of Dale Steyn did not make the South African attack any weaker.

"Guys like (Morne) Morkel and Ryan McLaren are well known names in the world of fast bowling. So we knew they would attack us from the start. But we took our time to settle down and then scored off their pace," Dhawan said.

"I quite enjoy taking the pressure but it was more about waiting for the loose balls. The wicket was good to bat but it was important not to rush into strokes. This strategy worked very well after the first Powerplay," Dhawan said.

As for stepping out to the fastest of bowlers, Dhawan said: "It's my nature. Courage comes normally to me. I am used to it."

The Delhi left-hander will now have to keep this form going as India play West Indies and Pakistan next, in what is clearly the Group of Death. 


Image: Shikhar Dhawan (R) of India celebrates reaching his century
Photographs: Michael Steele/Getty Images

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