Dhawan optimistic about India’s chances in World Cup 2019

India opener Shikhar Dhawan struck a dream form in IPL 2019 under the guidance of two-time World Cup winning captain Ricky Ponting, who is now the head coach of Delhi Capitals.

Shikhar Dhawan racked up 451 runs with an unbeaten highest score of 97 in IPL 2019.   -  FILE PHOTO/ AFP

 

Shikhar Dhawan is optimistic about Team India's chances in the ICC Cricket World Cup in England next month. He has been in scintillating form with the bat for the Delhi Capitals, racking up 451 runs with an unbeaten highest score of 97.

However, the swashbuckling southpaw cautioned against putting bulk of the focus on India's top-three — Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and himself.

"We (Dhawan, Rohit and Kohli) guys have been doing it (scoring runs) for five years now.. We have scored so many centuries, broken so many records, so we just have to go out there and do the same thing. I can understand that emotions are running high with the World Cup around the corner, but it's the calmness and confidence that will win us matches," said Dhawan.

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"There have been times when we three (Rohit, Dhawan and Kohli) haven't scored runs but others like Kedar (Jadhav), Mahi bhai (Dhoni), Hardik (Pandya), Vijay Shankar and we have KL (Rahul) as well, who put their hands up. We have got a very good side and are confident of doing well at the World Cup."

Dhawan will once again be in the spotlight when table-topper Delhi Capitals takes on tournament favourite Chennai Super Kings in its own backyard.

Having qualified for the IPL playoffs for the first time in seven years, Delhi opener Shikhar Dhawan, drew several positives from the team's campaign so far and was confident of putting up a strong fight.

"We played half our matches in Delhi where handling spinners is more difficult than here (Chepauk), so that should hold us in good stead," Dhawan said.

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"Our support staff, including the likes of Dada (Sourav Ganguly) and Ricky Ponting, has also played a key role in the team's success this season."

Delhi can assure itself a top-two finish if it wins both its remaining matches. This turnaround in fortunes is largely due to the balance and communication within the side, Dhawan said.

"We have got a balanced side. It's a clean slate, the boys are hungry. Any team with good Indian batsmen usually does well in the IPL. Shreyas (Iyer) and Rishabh Pant are young but they know how to handle themselves in pressure situations. They are very mature and are only going to get better.

"I don't see myself as a senior, we all communicate with each other and that's one good thing about our team. When I am in the middle, I tell these guys things like 'we can take it easy' and they do the same.

"We have to keep playing the same way because that's what has worked for us. It's just the tag 'knockout' that's different, that's all. Nothing changes, and we will back ourselves to do well tomorrow."

Asked how Iyer's captaincy has helped the team in this edition, Dhawan pointed out that the 24-year-old is "learning so much from this high pressure tournament."

"He is a great leader and the way he has handled himself is commendable. As a youngster, he doesn't show any frustration on the field which sends a very strong message to the team. His bowling changes and fielding placements have worked for us too."