Saturday, 11 October 2014

I know my game now: Shikhar Dhawan

NEW DELHI: Enigma is probably the word which best describes Shikhar Dhawan the cricketer. His career, in large portions, has been plagued by inconsistency and rush of blood between the 22 yards.

As he looks to cement his place in the Indian top-order, despite some breathtaking performances, the opener does what comes naturally to him: stay carefree and be dismissive about apprehensions.

So, on the eve of the second ODI against West Indies, Shikhar took the questions about his fickle form on the chin and asserted: "I enjoy both success and failure. If I don't have failures, I would never know the taste of success. I am glad that I have had six bad innings because that will help me get 50 good innings."

After a stupendous first year with the Indian team, bowlers found him out in overseas conditions. Dhoni barely hesitated why benching in the middle of the series. That happened on three successive tours -in New Zealand, World T20 in Bangladesh and in England. The reason given by the skipper was that the opener needed time to think about his batting. So how much does he actually think about it?

"Earlier, I used to tinker with my batting style and try something different. But I know my game well now and stick to my own process." remarked Shikhar on Friday.

In the quest for consistency, Shikhar doesn't mind sharing the role of the aggressor at the top of the order. For him, Ajinkya Rahane plays the perfect the foil. He struggled in ODIs abroad when Rohit Sharma got stuck in the first Powerplay overs and he had to play the sole aggressor.

"You don't feel the pressure when runs come from both ends. Even Ajinkya feels the same thing because I also play aggressively. It's a good thing for both of us. But I have enjoyed batting with Rohit too," said the 29-year-old who is off to a good start in the series with a steady 68 in the first match.

Maybe, Ferozeshah Kotla, the ground which laid the foundation of his career, would inspire him to keep his good form going on Saturday. He knows the surface here like the back of his hand.

"I haven't seen the pitch but I know how it plays. I have played seven-eight years of domestic cricket here. It's going to be a good batting wicket with a little bit of low bounce," was his dismissive reply to queries on the playing strip.

For the moment, he wants to bask in the joy of playing his first international match in front of his home crowd.

"I miss hanging around here. It was a dream for me to play for India here and that is going to come true tomorrow," said Shikhar with a glint in his eyes.

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