Applauding his team’s sensational run chase against Australia in the previous game,India opener Shikhar Dhawan said there was never a moment when the hosts felt that 360 was not a chaseable target.
“From the time I walked out of the dressing room,we thought it is a chaseable target. We wanted to play with a positive mind,” Dhawan said here on the eve of the third ODI against Australia.
“Earlier we have chased big targets. The idea was to just play ball by ball,and just go out there and enjoy,” he added.
Chasing a mammoth 360 on a belter of a track at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur in the second ODI,India pulled off an incredible nine-wicket victory with 39 balls to spare to level the seven-match series 1-1.
Dhawan,who scored a valuable 86-ball 95 in that game,said he and his teammates took calculated risks.
“We were seeing the ball nicely and started playing the shots more. Then we started taking calculating risks and keep up with the run rate,” he explained.
Asked if he had ever chased such a huge target in domestic matches before,Dhawan said,”Not 360,but nowadays 300 is a target seen in most matches. Though 360 is huge,it is achievable. Unlike earlier times when we used to think that too many runs had been scored,these days with great team effort we can make it.”
In the first two ODIs,the Indian bowlers came a cropper but Dhawan felt it was not a matter of concern.
“See,these are very good batting wickets. Our bowlers are doing a great job,but of course,we are working more on our bowling so that we get stronger.”
On R Vinay Kumar and Ishant Sharma bowling too many short and wide balls in the previous match,Dhawan said,”I guess boys were trying bouncers,trying to surprise the opponents with short balls and were trying different things to upset them.”
Flamboyant Dhawan,meanwhile,reiterated that he has not changed his game much in terms of skills but has become more matured as a batsman.
“I feel it is more in the mind,my skills are the same. As I have told earlier also that I have got mature as a batsman and I value my wicket more. I have got more hungry (for runs). I have changed some things in the net,got more focused,my concentration is better now and I have been working hard,” he pointed out.
Mitchell Johnson had bowled short balls at him in the opening tie,but in the last game Dhawan countered those well.
“Johnson bowls with a lot of pace,but we have practiced and boys played lot of pull shorts. Of course,they are going to change plans,but fast bowlers use this (short ball) as a weapon,” he said.
With Mohali being a happy hunting ground for the Delhi dasher,he said,”I have great memory here,made my debut here and got a century. Of course,it is a great motivation for me and I would like to repeat the same things here.”
Dhawan said that dew would play a major role in tomorrow’s game.
“Dew is always an important factor. As far as Mohali wicket is concerned,it has been good for fast bowlers as well as batsmen. It should be overall a good wicket.
He said a good wicket was the one,which has something to offer to both the batsmen and the bowlers.
“I guess the one in which bowlers get wickets and batsmen score runs,that is a good ODI wicket,” said Dhawan.
The Jaipur tie witnessed Shane Watson saying a few words to Dhawan and Rohit Sharma but the opener sought to play it down,saying,”I guess we are used to it,sometimes we give it back and sometimes we just smile and walk off.”