'Have been hearing it for 10 years now' - Shikhar Dhawan not bothered with criticisms

'They keep saying, I keep playing. It doesn't matter to me,' said Dhawan.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan (Photo Source: Twitter/BCCI)

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Shikhar Dhawan, the Indian team’s opening batter, stated that he is not bothered by the criticism he receives practically every time he fails to score significantly in a few games. In the recently-concluded series, Dhawan played a slow knock in the first ODI against England to remain unbeaten and assist Rohit Sharma well in order to bag the victory. But he failed to perform in the remaining two games of the series.

Dhawan will be leading the Indian contingent in the three-match ODI series against West Indies that commences today, July 22, at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad. He is set to become India’s seventh captain to have taken the duties specific to this particular year. The 36-year-old stated that if he had let critics influence his play, he wouldn’t be where he is today.

“I don’t feel strange. Have been hearing it for 10 years now. They keep saying, I keep playing. It doesn’t matter to me. If it did, I wouldn’t have been here today. Everyone has their own opinions, but I know my job and what I need to do. I have been doing this for so many years. I don’t take a lot of tension after a couple of failures. I self-analyze and look to improve. That’s what matters to me,” Dhawan said in a pre-match press conference.

The pressure will not change my personality or my style of play: Shikhar Dhawan

Prior to the England ODIs, Dhawan made an impression at the South Africa ODI series that was played at the beginning of 2022. In three games, he scored 169 runs, including two half-centuries. Notably, for the upcoming ODI series, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and Hardik Pandya have been rested along with regular captain Rohit Sharma. Dhawan will consequently be in charge of a rather inexperienced team in the Caribbean.

“I am very excited. When I get a chance to work with youngsters, I feel I can share my experience with them, especially the mental aspect of how one can grow. I always love to share it and bring an impact in their game. Pressure is always there in international cricket. But the pressure will not change my personality or my style of play. I have a lot of self-belief in myself and in my team as well. We will go in with the will to win at any cost,” he added.

The Indian side will kick off their tour of the West Indies with a three-match ODI series. The three games will be played on July 22, 24, and 27 respectively. The two teams will then clash for five T20Is starting July 29, the first three of which will be hosted by West Indies, and the two teams will move to Florida in the USA for the final two games.