Shikhar Dhawan: New Indian players will be given a long run

The ongoing series against South Africa and matches scheduled in the near future will be the perfect platform for youngsters such as Washington Sundar and Deepak Chahar to build their confidence, says the India opener.

Shikhar Dhawan meets Rahul Dravid at a practice session in Bengaluru.   -  K. MURALI KUMAR

The Indian team management will give new players a fair run to establish themselves ahead of the T20 World Cup in 2020, senior opener Shikhar Dhawan has said.

“[While] trying out youngsters, it is good to give them a good run because when new players come in, it takes time for them to express themselves. Young boys are taking these opportunities with both hands. I am sure the team management will give them a longer run,” Dhawan said on Saturday, ahead of the third T20 International.

Dhawan said the team’s senior players are “always open” to helping their younger team-mates like Shreyas Iyer or Rishabh Pant, who is currently battling indifferent form. Seen as a player with a bright future after Test tons in demanding English and Australian conditions, Pant is now feeling the heat for his shot-selection and temperament, with some calling for the inclusion of Sanju Samson or Ishan Kishan at his expense.

Communication important

“Any time, any youngster wants to discuss something with us, we are always open to help them, always there for them,” Dhawan told reporters. “For senior players like us, say someone like [Pant] comes in to bat or Shreyas coming in, we make sure we do the communication with them and make sure they are comfortable and not nervous. We make them think what is needed at that particular moment,” he said.

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Dhawan added: “That’s what we do even when I am batting with Rohit [Sharma] or Virat [Kohli], we keep discussing and that is very important. Communication is very, very important.”

The ongoing series against South Africa and matches scheduled in the near future will be the perfect platform for youngsters such as Washington Sundar and Deepak Chahar to build their confidence leading up to the T20 World Cup, felt Dhawan.

‘Perfect platform’

“Washington is bowling really good, giving us the breakthroughs and also choking the batsmen. He has got very good control and variety as well. Even Deepak Chahar, he swings the ball both ways and at the same time, he has pace as well. It is the perfect platform for them to perform and build the confidence for the T20 World Cup,” Dhawan said.

Dhawan himself has been in fine touch during his match-winning partnership with skipper Virat Kohli in the second T20 against South Africa at Mohali.

Washington Sundar (right) and Deepak Chahar (left) have shown promise, says Shikhar Dhawan. Photo: Akhilesh Kumar

 

“I have been playing well. I got a break and came back and even in West Indies, I didn’t score many runs, but I was middling the ball nicely. For me, it’s normal, it happens, four-five innings can go here and there. I know that my process is very strong, I am a keen observer of whatever I am doing. I will make sure I do everything in a detailed manner, and yes, sometimes some strategies don’t go your way, sometimes they do. It is part of the journey, I have always backed myself, I know the hard work I have put in, and I know that things will go good for me,” Dhawan said.

Dhawan: Will play Vijay Hazare Trophy

Dhawan said he will play for Delhi, his State side, in the upcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy. “Now even after this series, I am going to play Vijay Hazare [Trophy] as well. I am looking forward to that. I make sure that whatever cricket I play, I play with all my heart whether it’s Ranji, Vijay Hazare or the Indian team,” Dhawan said.

Dhawan said, “I had free time since I was not in the Test team, so thought rather than sitting at home or training, [I should] play matches which is good for my confidence and my skill levels. Match practice is the best practice so I thought it’s a good opportunity for me to go and express myself. I was not part of the Test team so I had the opportunity.”

There were also reports that Dhawan had pulled out of the initial few matches of the domestic tournament. The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) had announced the squad for the tournament earlier in the week.