Dhawan capitalises on last minute call-up

“My plans were to go to Melbourne and spend time with my family, and get fit for the one-day series. I was in Hong Kong on a holiday and from there I flew to India and joined the team. Destiny had a different plan,” said Dhawan after his 168-ball 190 against Sri Lanka in the first Test.

India's Shikhar Dhawan plays a shot during the first day's play of the first test cricket match against Sri Lanka in Galle.   -  AP

 

A gamut of expressions shimmered across Shikhar Dhawan’s face while he addressed the media here on Wednesday evening. The fatigue after playing a long innings, the consternation over gifting his wicket and the pride of having scored a 190, were all evident. But, largely it was also about his expansive grin and it is understandable because between his two Test hundreds here – 2015 and now – Dhawan played 14 innings without scoring a ton. His relief was palpable.

 

Here are the excerpts from his press conference at the end of day’s play.

Not an original choice

My plans were to go to Melbourne and spend time with my family, and get fit for the one-day series. I was in Hong Kong on a holiday and from there I flew to India and joined the team. Destiny had a different plan. I was happy, of course, to make a comeback to the Test side. Unfortunately, (Murali) Vijay wasn’t fit. I had a good run before this Test series and I just came with the same confidence.

Read: Pujara, Dhawan put India in driver's seat on Day One

A fluent innings

Yeah, actually. My debut innings (against Australia) was more like this one. Even against Bangladesh, I scored a quick hundred but this was better.

The pitch

The wicket was also good and there wasn’t much spin. But it has true bounce and good pace and I batted well too. The special thing about this venue is that I am scoring runs.

Countering spin

There wasn’t much turn, so I thought I can attack more. The sweep shot is a very individual thing. I am a good sweeper, so I used my strength. They (Sri Lankan bowlers) bowled more on my leg-side.

The dismissal

I was disappointed. I would have loved a 200. But more than that, I got out at the wrong time. It was the last over before tea. But the way I was playing, I was confident that I could clear the mid-off fielder. I was in that zone and I backed myself. Unfortunately it didn’t go my way.

The consistency benchmark

When I got out of the Test side, it hurt me. But then, I moved on and I started playing domestic cricket. One thing about me is that I don’t like to be sad all the time. I like to be happy. I am going to keep doing my fitness training and work on my skill level. I knew if it (a Test chance) has to come, it will come.

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