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.