Competition brings the best out of players, says Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan and Gautam Gambhir spoke to the press after the Duleep Trophy final.

Shikhar Dhawan said that he wasn't worried by the competition for the opener's slot.   -  K Bhagya Prakash

That India would welcome New Zealand with spinner-friendly pitches is a foregone conclusion. Test opener Shikhar Dhawan shared his thoughts on the same lines at the end of the Duleep Trophy final here on Wednesday.

Looking ahead, Dhawan said, “New Zealand have some good players like their captain (Kane Williamson) and (Tim) Southee. They can make an impact in the series. At the same time, it could be on spinning pitches. The New Zealand spinners can also do a good job. I believe one of their spinners, Mitchell Santaner, who bowled well in the World T20 here, is there.” New Zealand has brought three spinners for the three-Test series — Mark Craig, Mitchell Santaner and Ish Sodhi.

The contest for the openers’ slots did not worry Dhawan, who competes with M. Vijay and K. L. Rahul. He looked positively at the competition in the team. “It keeps you on your toes. KL (Rahul) has done well and it is good for the team because competition brings the best out of the players.”

On his experience with the pink ball, the left-hander welcome the idea. “It’s an experiment and let us give it some time. You will get two different views because one team did well and one did not. Personally I had no issues.”

For India Red captain Gautam Gambir the win was sweeter because he had talked of it. “It was a happy dressing room. It always feels good to win when you compete to the best of your abilities.”

Gambhir, however, preferred first-class cricket to be played in day only. “I’m a traditionalist and believe that Test cricket should be played with the red ball. Let us preserve one format of the game because there have been many changes in the other two.”

On selection matters Gambhir noted, “You can’t be thinking of things not under your control. When you have bat or ball in your hand you think of performing and not about selectors. You have to make runs and get the team to win. It doesn’t really matter who is the captain.”