Dhawan: Cannot take my place in the XI for granted

During the team's preparatory camp held at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore, Dhawan spoke about reacting to criticism, and about new coach, Anil Kumble.

Shikhar Dhawan with his opening partner Murali Vijay during the team's preparatory camp at the National Cricket Academy.   -  K. Bhagya Prakash

After a successful IPL season, where he finished as the fifth-highest run-scorer, Shikhar Dhawan is now focussed on making the big scores in the longest format.

Dhawan is keen to resume his partnership with good friend Murali Vijay in the upcoming four-Test series in the West Indies. The Delhi southpaw is, however, aware that Karnataka lad K. L. Rahul poses a threat to his spot in the eleven.

During the team's preparatory camp held at the National Cricket Academy here, Dhawan spoke about reacting to criticism, and about new coach, Anil Kumble.

On fellow opener Murali Vijay

I share a very good relationship with Vijay both on and off the field — he is my very good friend. He has been a very successful and consistent batsman. He is calm, funny, and a lovely family man. I learn a lot form him, like the basics of batting and technique.

On competition with K. L. Rahul

Your spot in the eleven cannot be taken for granted. There is no such thing as cementing your place. Rahul has been performing really well of late. It is good when healthy competition exists — it keeps us on our toes. We know that if we don't perform, another person will take our place.

Leaving balls outside off

If the ball is outside off, I will leave it alone. I followed this rule in the Sri Lanka series. The player I was when I entered international cricket is not the same as the player I am today. I have learnt a lot on my journey.

Reacting to criticism

I don't watch or read the news. Whatever people say is their own opinion. I don't listen to them. When I started playing, it felt good to hear nice things, and when people said negative things about me, I would feel bad. With time, I have realised that it is not possible to have the whole world praising me at all times.

Facing coach Anil Kumble in the nets

It is easy to face him. He is quite old now (laughs).

Making runs in West Indies

I've heard that pitches in the West Indies are slow. But, I do know that their pacers are fast. The pressure will be on me in the first 20-odd balls. Once I get through the first 50 balls, the pressure is on them.

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