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How Dhawan turned his batting around in IPL after slow start

Source: ANI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
October 23, 2020 18:05 IST
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'If I keep thinking about scoring centuries, I will burden myself. My idea is to go out and give it my best shot. If I give it my best, the rest will follow.'

Shikhar Dhawan

IMAGE: Shikhar Dhawan celebrates after completing his century against Kings XI Punjab. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

He started off slowly in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League, but going into the business end of the tournament, Delhi Capitals opener Shikhar Dhawan bounced back to form with two consecutive centuries and jumped to second place in the run-scorers' chart with 465 runs from 10 games.

 

The veteran batsman struggled to get going in the first few games as he started off with a couple of 20s but regained his form as the T20 league went on and is now the only batsman in IPL to have scored two back to back centuries.

Dhawan says he was not affected by the criticism of his batting form earlier in the tournament.

"I like to stay happy, don't like to take stress. Firstly what people say doesn't reach my ears and I don't wish to listen to what is being said and secondly, I love playing and it gives me joy. I know the hard work I have done and how fit I am and the preparations that I have done. I have full faith in me that whatever I touch I will turn it into gold," he said.

Dhawan said he discussed his batting with Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting which helped him get back among the runs and convert his 20s and 30s into centuries.

"Ricky bhai said that I was batting well and I knew I wanted to play a little fast. I had a discussion on that also with him. I was happy with the 20s and 30s because they were impactful. What matters in T20s is how important those 30 runs were. I thought I was playing the role of the opener. The moment I got fifties, I gained in confidence and then by God's grace I scored the centuries," he stated.

Dhawan says he is not bothered about records and is only looking at scoring runs and winning matches for his team.

"If I keep thinking about scoring centuries, I will burden myself. My idea is to go out and give it my best shot. If I give it my best, the rest will follow. That also helps to keep me mentally light. Why should I add to my expectations?

"Like, going into the first few games of the season, I didn't have any fifty or anything so 500 runs in the season looked a distant dream. But I have been scoring 500 over the last few seasons, so rather than using it as a pressure scenario, I looked at it positively and thought it is good if I achieve it, else I will try and do my best for the team. The idea is to keep it simple and be disciplined. Simple isn't as simple as it sounds, you also need to be mentally strong," he said.

Shikhar Dhawan

IMAGE: Shikhar Dhawan is second in the run-scorers' chart in the ongoing IPL with 465 runs from 10 games. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

The opener revealed that the Delhi Capitals management has done a great job in ensuring that the team is a happy unit on and off the pitch.

"When the team is doing well, it is a good sign and you have everyone pitching in. It is important for the team management to back the players as that brings in a sense of security and I feel we have a great support staff and management and that has ensured we are a very happy unit. That is what you can see on the field and off it," he said.

Dhawan, who completed a decade in international cricket, said it has been a fun ride.

"You know dreams change with time. When I started thought will play Under-16, then Under-19, then India and so on. Luckily by god's grace, my wishes have come true. Thought I had the potential and have tried to give it my best. My idea is that the day I leave, I shouldn't have anything left to give," he smiled.

Commenting on the Australia series that follows, Dhawan said: "Will think about it when the time comes. 10-15 minutes are needed to think about it. When you are experienced, you have gone and done well, you have that confidence in you. I am confident I will go and do well there."

The pandemic has also created a scenario wherein players have to be in a bubble and follow strict protocols. Dhawan says the joyous mood in the Delhi Capitals camp has helped.

"What a person thinks is what counts. If you look at it and think it is difficult, it will be. But I look at it and think I can do so many things and focus on my hobbies. I look to enjoy and while I love my family, I have been used to travelling from childhood. Just enjoy ourselves and wait for the match days," he said.

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Source: ANI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
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