Applauding his team’s sensational run chase against Australia in the previous game, India opener Shikhar Dhawan on Friday said there was never a moment when the hosts felt that 360 was not a chaseable target.
“From the time I walked out of the dressing room, we thought it is a chaseable target. We wanted to play with a positive mind,” Dhawan said in Mohali on the eve of the third One-Day International (ODI) against Australia.
“Earlier we have chased big targets. The idea was to just play ball by ball, and just go out there and enjoy,” he added.
Chasing a mammoth 360 on a belter of a track at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur in the second ODI, India pulled off an incredible nine-wicket victory with 39 balls to spare to level the seven-match series 1-1.
Dhawan, who scored a valuable 86-ball 95 in that game, said he and his teammates took calculated risks.
“We were seeing the ball nicely and started playing the shots more. Then we started taking calculating risks and keep up with the run rate,” he explained.
Rohit Sharma hit a 123-ball 141 not out, while Virat Kohli scored an unbeaten 100 of just 52 balls.
Asked if he had ever chased such a huge target in domestic matches before, Dhawan said, “Not 360, but nowadays 300 is a target seen in most matches. Though 360 is huge, it is achievable. Unlike earlier times when we used to think that too many runs had been scored, these days with great team effort we can make it.”
In the first two ODIs, the Indian bowlers came a cropper but Dhawan felt it was not a matter of concern.
“See, these are very good batting wickets. Our bowlers are doing a great job, but of course, we are working more on our bowling so that we get stronger.”
On R Vinay Kumar and Ishant Sharma bowling too many short and wide balls in the previous match, Dhawan said, “I guess boys were trying bouncers, trying to surprise the opponents with short balls and were trying different things to upset them.