Kohli hopes to keep Dhawan in his 'happy zone'

Shikhar Dhawan blasted his way to 132 as India routed Sri Lanka in the opening ODI and Virat Kohli heaped praise on the opener.

Shikhar Dhawan scored a match-winning century on Sunday.   -  Getty Images

Virat Kohli hopes to keep Shikhar Dhawan in his "happy zone" for as long as possible after the opener inspired India's nine-wicket hammering of Sri Lanka on Sunday.

Having romped to a 3-0 whitewash of its host in the Test series, India continued that momentum in the first of five one-day internationals in Dambulla.

After a strong start, Sri Lanka collapsed from 139 for 1 to 216 all out and Dhawan put that score into perspective by blasting an unbeaten 132 from 90 balls, including 20 fours and three sixes as the tourist got home with more than 20 overs to spare. "The last three months have been a great time for Dhawan and he's cashing in on his purple patch," said Kohli, who finished 82 not out from 70 deliveries.

"Hopefully he stays in this happy zone and we'll make sure he stays there, because he will win you games as long he's in it. Once he starts going, it's very difficult to stop him."

"Things have been going well for me and I've just been focusing on my processes," added Dhawan. "I have mental freedom and when you perform well, you have extra confidence. By the grace of god, things are going my way. I just wanted to play positively and on the merit of the ball today."

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