It was Shikhar Dhawan’s turn to answer questions related to the air pollution that has come to impact the ongoing India-Sri Lanka Test match at the Feroz Shah Kotla here.
Dhawan, born and brought up in Delhi, noted, “This is the time of crop harvesting in some of the states and this month the pollution has been a wee bit more. Also this time, we haven’t experienced good sunshine. May be if there was sunshine, pollution would have been less. I don’t think playing cricket was a problem. As far as (Mohammed) Shami is concerned, he is fine and you will see him in action tomorrow,” said the India opener.
In defence of some of the teammates who have sown signs of discomfort when playing, Dhawan said, “There are a lot of players in our team who are not used to this pollution thing in Delhi as they come from other states. But if you have been assigned a job (to play), you can’t let anything come in its way. That’s my thinking because not everyone in our team is from Delhi. The situation is same for them also.”
The left-hander emphasised, “If you are playing in Delhi at some other point of time, the pollution won’t affect you. I would never say that there is no pollution in Delhi. Of course there is pollution, but during the winters as there is a lot of smog, so whatever the situation is, we need to adjust accordingly. When you are playing for country, you have to do your job.”
On the Sri Lankan players’ suffering, Dhawan said, “May be they are uncomfortable. May be there is less pollution in Sri Lanka. There are more beaches in Sri Lanka. It’s natural that a city surrounded by beaches won’t have pollution. As I said, I won’t hide that there is pollution in Delhi. Now if it’s there, it’s there. But still I would insist that we should do our duty – that is to play cricket.”
Dhawan spoke on the state of the pitch too. “Every wicket has its own nature, different soil component. The soil component determines the bounce. There aren’t too many bouncy wickets up North. The curator (Ankit Datta) tried his best .”
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