Till the time I am playing for India, I want to be an asset, not liability: Shikhar Dhawan

'My basics have been pretty strong and I have put in a lot of work to improve my technique,' said Dhawan.

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

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The next phase of Indian cricket’s evolution is almost here. As some seniors are anticipated to retire from one or more formats after the 2023 World Cup, the team management has already been moulding the young players to become the next big thing.

When Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, and Virender Sehwag retired in the past, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, and Rohit Sharma took their places. Ten years down the line, these players are now legends of the game, but there will be a time, sooner or later, when they will take a step back in order to let the youngsters be the face of the team.

The process has already begun as Kohli has been regularly given breaks, and Rohit Sharma, the all-format captain, is also occasionally given some time off to oversee his work pressure and forgo the less-notable competitions. Dhawan, who once used to play across all formats, is now seen only in the ODI format. Being in good form and physique, Dhawan is likely to play in the ODI World Cup next year, but the opening batter is unsure of what lies ahead of him.

“Till the time I am playing for India, I would like to be an asset and not a liability. I am a calm, mature person. The performance is a reflection of my experience. My basics have been pretty strong, and I have put in a lot of work to improve my technique. Understanding a format is also very important. I understand the dynamics of the ODI format, and that has helped me a lot,” Dhawan was quoted by Hindustan Times.

If I am playing a format after a gap of two months or three months, it always gives me a chance to remain fresh: Shikhar Dhawan

Dhawan, who represented India last time in T20Is in July 2021, has been a regular in the IPL, scoring 618 runs in 2020, 587 runs in 2021, and 460 more runs in the 2022 edition. However, he has been a completely different player in ODIs. Since the start of 2020, he has scored 975 runs from 22 ODIs, and he will be hoping to add to that total when he captains Team India in Zimbabwe. Only a few could have anticipated a 36-year-old opener to perform this well in the limited-overs game.

“I never let this feeling creep into my system that “Oh God, I am playing only one format or I am playing an ODI series after a long time. Will my body respond well to the rigours of international cricket, or will it not?” Frankly speaking, I don’t like entertaining these thoughts. I view it like this. If I am playing a format after a gap of two months or three months, it always gives me a chance to remain fresh and come into battle fully fit and with enough time to work on my game,” he added.