Enjoy taking the pressure: Dhawan
With his maiden one-day hundred and a 127-run opening partnership with Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan was the chief architect of India’s win in the opening match of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013. The left-hand bat paced his innings to provide India a solid platform.
After returning to ODI after a two-year hiatus, Dhawan smashed a 94-ball 114 peppered with 12 boundaries and a six. Speaking about his remarkable knock after the match, he told the media, “Yeah, I am really happy the way I played this innings, and more happy that my team got a win against South Africa, and looking forward to the coming matches.”
Asked if it was easier to face a South African attack without pace spearhead Dale Steyn, Dhawan said, “Not really. Of course, Morne Morkel and all of their bowlers are well-known bowlers on the international circuit, and they bowl at a good pace too. But I guess we needed to be really sensible at the start, and then we got used to the pace of their bowling and played some good shots.”
Although India did well in both their practice matches, both Dhawan and Sharma had not scored too many runs in them. While the southpaw had scored 1 and 17, Sharma had made 5 and 10 in the warm-up games against Sri Lanka and Australia respectively. However, both the batters who have been in good nick since before the tournament came to the party at the right time.
Speaking about opening with Sharma who came in place of specialist opener Murali Vijay, Dhawan said, “Yeah, it was really nice playing with Rohit. I'm playing for the first time with him as an opener, and it was really good. Our combination really worked for us. Running between the wickets was really good, and our understanding was really good. And Rohit played some brilliant shots.”
He added, “No, we did not have a plan to score that fast. But once we saw the nature of the wicket and once we got set on this kind of pitch, you end up scoring lots up front. And that is what happened with us. We both were playing on the merit of the ball and we were getting a lot of runs per over.”
Speaking about his own batting, Dhawan said, “I just watch the ball and play the ball and enjoy watching my partners batting and enjoy running between the wickets and enjoy taking the pressure.”
While talking about the new ODI rules, Dhawan explained, “Well, the new ball is from both ends. So, our plans were to take it easy at the start because the new ball always does bounce a little bit more. Then once we get runs, then we can always play shorter, and that's what we did.”
The ICC World Cup 2011 winners will take on the ICC World Twenty20 2012 champions West Indies in their next league game on June 11, 2013.