Shikhar Dhawan smashed an unbeaten 97 in India's huge win © Getty Images
Shikhar Dhawan smashed an unbeaten 97 in India’s huge win © Getty Images

Sep 3, 2014

India opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan on Wednesday credited Indian Team Director Ravi Shastri and the other members of the squad for helping him out in tough times and support that he was got, as he roared back to form with a scintillating 97 not out against England in the fourth One-Day International (ODI) at Edgbaston.

India pummelled England by nine wickets to seal the five-match series 3-0 with one more match to go. Dhawan, who added 183 runs with Ajinkya Rahane to guide India to a famous win, conceded that he was relieved after a big knock.

Dhawan told BCCI’s official website, “Yes, very relieved indeed. I kept practicing hard and kept believing in the process. I made a few minor changes in my technique. I opened up my shoulder a bit due to which the vision of the bowler and his arm improved a lot. It has also led me into playing straighter than before. I would like to thank the entire support staff and especially Ravi [Shastri] bhai, who has given us a lot of confidence since he has joined the team. A very big thanks to my family for standing by me.”

Talking about Rahane, who slammed his maiden ODI ton in the game, Dhawan said, “Ajinkya was in beautiful touch and the way he hit Anderson for those four fours in an over, it released all the pressure from us. I was not it bad touch myself but my flow wasn’t as good as his. So I kept taking singles at the other end and gave him most of the strike initially. It was the perfect partnership between us. The jugalbandi (a duet of two solo musicians) was brilliant.”

Dhawan said he enjoyed hitting the strokes that he usually plays, as it was after a very long time the left-handed opener was seen his usual self. “I thoroughly enjoyed it. When you get something for free, you enjoy it more (talking about a six off a free hit). After that shot, I got into very good flow. So, we decided to take the batting powerplay. We wanted to finish on an aggressive note because with the match in the bag, it was a good opportunity for us to try out some big shots and learn how and when they work in the batting powerplay.”

Dhawan said that he is feeling more confident about his game after the innings in the fourth ODI, as he had a poor Test series during which he was dropped for last two Tests.

“My game does depend a lot on confidence. Without confidence, I would not have been able to score runs today. To be honest, even during the Tests and in the first two ODIs, it wasn’t like I was struggling to put bat on ball. It happens with every batsman; sometimes despite feeling good in the nets, you don’t score runs in the match,” Dhawan said.

He continued, “It is difficult. You are trying everything you can to score runs – you’re working on your technique, preparing yourself mentally and doing everything right before a match. But still you go through one failure after another. At this time it is very important to have patience and keep the belief intact. All you can do is keep trying and keep working. Sometimes, you also have to admit that you are getting good balls and the opposition has your number. That’s what I tried to do. I didn’t over-think or get too frustrated; I worked hard wholeheartedly and prepared as smartly as I could, and then accepted that this is a bad phase and I have to get through it.”

Dhawan said that he does not read too much into disappointments and prefers to live in the present. “It depends on individuals. For me, when I get out cheaply, I think about it for a while, see where I went wrong, figure out the ways to improve and then let it go. Once a moment has passed, I cannot bring it back. So, I prefer to live in the present. You feel bad and disappointed but at the end of the day the sooner you accept it, it will be easier to move ahead,” he said.

“When you are scoring runs, yourself and the others tend to overlook your technical deficiencies. It’s when the runs are not coming that even the minutest of flaws are viewed under the microscope. You look into your game and try to pick every single thing you can improve about it. At the end of it, you emerge as a better player than you were. For me failure is not a bad thing because it teaches you how to succeed,” he added.

Complete coverage of India’s tour to England here