Dhawan: Nervous about facing the pink ball

Despite his mediocre run with the bat, Dhawan insists that he learns from his setbacks. He also speaks about SRH skipper David Warner; day-night Tests and Bollywood star Akshay Kumar among other things.

Shikhar Dhawan is more confident now about Sunrisers Hyderabad than he was last year.   -  V. V. Subrahmanyam

Sunrisers Hyderabad opener Shikhar Dhawan, now 30, says that he enjoys his game and is growing as a player. Despite an inconsistent run with the bat, Dhawan insists that he is learning from his setbacks. In an interview to Sportstar, Dhawan speaks about Sunrisers skipper David Warner, day-night Tests, and Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar among other things.

Excerpts from the interview:

ON DAVID WARNER: Given the kind of form he is in, it gives me time to play sensibly and achieve the simple targets we set, like for the first six overs and then re-draw our strategy. We have a nice balance and I feel it’s quite beneficial for our side and we know each other’s game pretty well. David brings a lot of positive energy and leads from the front. His body language and performances send a message to the players that you have to give your best.

ON HIS SLOW STARTS: Yes, I sometimes do take time, but towards the end of my innings I happen to consume lesser number of balls in scoring runs. I have even scored a 40-ball century, if you remember. I have the ability to always cash in on runs later on.

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE TOP-ORDER: A lot depends on the team strategy, pitch and the playing conditions. If you lose early wickets while chasing a big total, the pressure is bound to increase.

ON SUNRISERS HYDERABAD: I am more confident than last year. The team has more depth in batting and bowling thanks to the presence of players like Ashish bhai (Nehra) and Yuvi paaji (Yuvraj Singh). It is the team balance which is helping us win consistently this year. However, the SRH fielding, though not a concern, needs to be much better.

ON ‘PRESSURE’: There is a lot more of it from outside now because of the social media and digital world. But most of the cricketers get used even to this to be successful on the field.

ON HIS STROKEPLAY: It is not that I should display my entire range of strokes. I’ll use them when necessary. After playing for a couple of years, you realise that there’s no need to play every shot in the book. The idea now is to be more consistent.

ON DAY-NIGHT TESTS: We’re nervous as batsmen on how it’ll be like facing a pink ball at night and as to how it will swing. It’s new for bowlers as well. It’s good to try new things.

ON WHICH ACTOR SHOULD PLAY HIS ROLE IF THEY MAKE HIS BIOPIC: I would like to pick Akshay (Kumar). He’s grown up in life from humble beginnings when he was a chef in Bangkok. From there to become a superstar is brilliant. Even Amitabh Bachchan sir also went through a tough phase in his career. From there he’s what he is now. I will not act in movies; that is not my domain.

ON FASHION: I only do what I love. For instance, I love wearing a Pathan suit; I want to sport a moustache. So, do whatever you feel comfortable and confident about, because that will give the energy out there. It will become a trend.

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