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A lot has been spoken about Shikhar Dhawan’s form as a batsman. Many were of the view that captaincy had taken a toll on his batting. But recently,in an interview with IPLT20.com, Dhawan said that irrespective of his captaincy, the batsman in him was high on confidence and raring to get a big score for his team.
On Tuesday, Dhawan showed that he was just a few hits away from a big knock as he marched his way to a 39-ball 50, decimating the RCB bowlers. Pace was treated with disdain, spin was dealt with precision and panache as Dhawan got back on track. Along with David Warner, he put up a century stand to round off a perfect run-chase in front of a capacity crowd in Hyderabad.
In this post-match chat withIPLT20.com, Dhawan speaks about his match-winning partnership with Warner and his half-century, which he dedicated to his kids and fans.
Excerpts from his interview:
How relieved are you to finally get a half-century this IPL?
(Smiles) I am really happy because I was getting a lot of thirties and forties. But today, I am glad that I converted yet another start into a match-winning knock. It is good to get a half-century in a winning cause.
As a batsman, what did you do differently today? Did that cover drive off Muttiah Muralitharan in the first over set the tone for the rest of your innings?
I was a lot more relaxed today and did not think of planning my innings. I was very calm and was enjoying myself in the middle. To answer your second question, I do not feel that the boundary in the first over made me realise that it would be my day, but it did help me to get a positive start. I would like to believe that even those little cameos that I was getting previously were good ones because I had started off positively back then as well. Today, I had nothing in mind, I was just focusing on the ball and hitting it.
But do you as a batsman anytime feel, ‘Yes, I am in the zone today and I can get a good score’?
When you are getting a lot of boundaries and playing to your strengths, you do feel that you are in that zone. It is when I struggle that I think about my zone and my batting. When I am in good flow and hitting the ball well, I do not think about anything other than getting a lot of runs.
A few short-pitch deliveries were served to you, but you seem unaffected by them.
I was positive about the short stuff and knew there could be some deliveries that would be pitched short. I played according to the field and knew I could go for my shots if peppered with the short stuff. I also knew that these Indian wickets do not have that much bounce and I had the liberty to play freely, which would get me runs.
David Warner opening the batting was a surprise move. Tell us about your partnership with him.
David Warner has been in great form in the middle order and we just wanted to try a different opening combination. The change worked and our partnership set the perfect tempo for the rest of the game. I started off well in the first few overs, which gave Warner the chance to take his time and get his eye in. Once he got his eye in, there was no stopping him and I decided to take a backseat and looked to rotate the strike. Both of us wanted to just go out there and express ourselves and play according to the merit of the ball. The Sunrisers definitely have good support at home. How satisfying is it to end on a winning note?
It was an important win for us. And the crowd has been expecting us to win games for them, which sadly had not been the case in the previous matches. It was good to see the massive support and we are glad that we put up a show for our fans and ended on a positive note in Hyderabad. It is a happy feeling to win at home.
I would like to dedicate this knock to my kids and the lovely Hyderabad fans, who have been waiting for a match-winning score from me.
Days became weeks and weeks became a month. That was the story of Parvez Rasool, who had to warm the benches for that duration, waiting for his chance to take the field. Even before Pepsi IPL 2014 began, there was always a sense of excitement about Rasool’s inclusion in the playing XI of the Sunrisers. 11 games later, the wait was finally over and the off-spinner finally got a chance to roll his arm this season.
He claims the wait to be testing and said that it was challenging to keep himself motivated. But he is now relieved to have finally got a chance to showcase his skills on the big stage. Rasool accepts that he could have done better, but he vows to improve with every game he plays.
In this chat with IPLT20.com, Rasool describes his emotions when he went to bowl his first ball this IPL and the moment whole of Jammu & Kashmir waited for with bated breath.
Here are excerpts from his interview:
Finally, Parvez Rasool gets a game! Tell us how difficult was it to warm the benches all this while?
First of all, I would like to thank the Almighty for the chance I got today. I had a good domestic season and was expecting to play soon. I have to accept that with every passing game it was getting difficult to motivate myself. But I knew for a fact that my chance will come soon and when I do get a chance, it was time to make the most of the opportunity. I would say it was a decent show for my first game this year.
When did you know that you would be playing tonight’s match? What kind of homework did you do to bowl against a strong RCB batting line-up?
I got to know this morning that I would be playing today. I was geared up for the challenge and Darren Sammy had told me that I would be bowling in the powerplay. I was pumped up to bowl to the likes of Chris Gayle and the other star batsmen in that RCB line-up. I watched a lot of videos and saw how certain batsmen play spin and did a lot of field planning with the captain.
Were you nervous when you walked out to bowl your first over?
I would be lying if I said that I did not have any nerves. I was nervous in the beginning, but as the game progressed and I started bowling, I became a lot calmer. I started analysing the wicket and looked for some turn. There was not much turn in the wicket so I realised that I had to look to contain the batsmen and then take wickets. It was a huge challenge for me personally to bowl to some of the best batsmen in the world, and I am glad I got the wicket of a big player like Yuvraj Singh.
Your first day at the office and your first wicket turns out to be Yuvraj Singh. How would you describe that moment?
I wanted to bowl at the right areas to Yuvi paaji because we all know how dangerous he can be if given any chance to hit. I wanted to bowl to him at the pads and try and cramp him for room. It worked for some time, but he did hit me for a six and a boundary. We had a few chances at the early part of the innings and I finally got him. I am glad that I could get the wicket of someone like Yuvraj Singh in my first IPL game this season. The best part though is that we won the game at the end of the day.
A catch, a wicket at a decent economy-rate and a win for your side; how would you describe your performance today?
(Smiles) It was an amazing feeling to be on the field. The catch was a simple one, but the prized one of Chris Gayle. I bowled well in the powerplay and took a huge wicket. This performance should motivate me for the games ahead. My fans and the supporters back home in Jammu & Kashmir would have all watched me play on their TV sets and it would be a proud moment for them. I am glad that I could put up a decent show for them and I only look to get better.
A word on the Sunrisers Hyderabad fans who have supported the team throughout.
The crowd has always been supportive, irrespective of the losses we suffered in the previous three games. As a team, we are glad that we could give our fans a reason to cheer and end on a high note in Hyderabad.
Do you think this performance would seal your spot in the upcoming games?
I want to take it one match at a time. If I do well, my performances will help me play more matches. New players like me, who are still learning, only crave for such opportunities and look to perform in the limited games they get. Hopefully, I get more chances, learn more and do better.