'I am playing for the next three years at least' - Shikhar Dhawan on India future

'I still feel that I can contribute in the shortest format because of my experience,' said Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

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Shikhar Dhawan is an important member of India’s ODI squad, but he believes he still has a lot to offer in the T20 format, where he hopes to continue for at least the next three years. With one game remaining in the IPL 2022, the 36-year-old has enjoyed another solid run, amassing 421 runs for Punjab Kings.

His consistency with the bat has been the highlight of his game as he hasn’t scored less than 300 runs in an IPL season since 2011. Despite scoring runs and leading India on a tour to Sri Lanka last year, it came as a shocker when Dhawan was left out of the final T20 World Cup group. The battle for a place in the Indian team is gaining traction, but Dhawan is likely to return to T20 cricket in the series at home against the Proteas starting on June 9.

“Though I remain an integral part of the team, I still feel that I can contribute in the shortest format because of my experience. I have been quite doing well in the T20 format. Whatever role I have been given I have done well. I have managed to stay consistent in the formats that I am playing, whether it is the IPL or at the domestic level and I am enjoying it. Consistency is not only about scoring fifties or hundreds frequently, but also about maintaining even gaps between such scores” Dhawan was quoted by NDTV.

Before Rahul Dravid was given the head coach duties for the Indian team, he was deployed with the Shikhar Dhawan-led squad that played against Sri Lanka in T20Is and ODIs. While India won the T20I series by 2-1, they lost the ODI series as Dhawan had to deploy the benched players in a Covid-hit team. But he said that he is positive about the future and will wait for the selectors to take a call.

The way I am performing, there are many milestones to achieve: Dhawan

“I am a very positive person. It was a dream come true for me to lead the team last year. For the T20 World Cup, they thought the (chosen) players were better than me and fair enough. Whatever decision selectors make, I respect that. That happens in life. You accept it and keep doing your job. I only focus on what is in my control and try to make the most of the opportunities that I get,” he added.

The prolific batter is confident that his performance will garner him an opportunity to represent his country wearing the blues and achieve heights. “We as cricketers have to remain on our toes and fit to be relevant in the race to represent India. I am playing for the next three years at least. I have been batting quite well for the past few years, I am hopeful and positive that the way I am performing, there are many milestones to achieve.”