‘Triple ton was there for the taking’

He is glad to have become only the third Indian cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag.

Written by Press Trust Of India | Pretoria | Published: August 14, 2013 12:36 am

He might have missed out on the world record for the highest list A score,but Shikhar Dhawan is not complaining. He is glad to have become only the third Indian cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag to get a double hundred in a 50-over game.

“I was aware of the record and it felt really special to score these runs,” Dhawan told bcci.tv after India A’s 39-run win over South Africa A which took them to the tri-series final. “When I got out in the 44th over it occurred to me that if I had batted till the end I had a chance to score a triple hundred. I am happy with what I scored though,” he said.

Dhawan toppled quite a few batting records en route to his way to a 150-ball knock of 248 runs. “I especially enjoyed it as it came against a South African side in their own backyard. They are very tough to play at home and they play good quality cricket,” Dhawan said.

“A big century was necessary for giving a good total to the team. Once I crossed the 100,I was in a different flow. I thought I made smart choice of shots and things went my way,” he added.

‘highlights package’

The regularity with which Dhawan hit boundaries off his bowlers made Justin Ontong feel as if he was watching a “highlights package” showing only boundaries and sixes. He hit 30 boundaries and seven sixes in his unbelievable 248.

“It was like watching a highlights package. He hit so many good shots,it’s hard to pick out one that stood out. There were a few sixes that went into the construction site,” Ontong told ESPNCricinfo after the match.

The South African ODI specialist termed it the best ever innings he has watched. “It was probably the best one-day innings I’ve seen. But I am also really proud of the boys. We showed some character when we were batting and if someone batted through,we could have won the game.”

Ontong expressed his helplessness that his bowlers were unable to stop Dhawan. “There was nothing our bowlers could do,” Ontong said.

Concrete wicket

Ontong conceded that there was nothing in the pitch for the bowlers. “It was a flat wicket with nothing in it and for 80 percent of the time we chased really well.

“When you play ODI cricket,you will sometimes play on flat wickets,although this one was maybe a little flatter than you get elsewhere and the outfield was also very quick,” Ontong added.

Tri-series final today

Pretoria: Boosted by a rampaging Shikhar Dhawan,a confident India A will take on their consistent Australian counterparts at the L C de Villiers Stadium on Wednesday. India have lost both their round robin league matches against the Australians,but Cheteshwar Pujara and his team will hope that the law of averages catches up with the opposition side.

As far as batting is concerned,India have ticked all the boxes in the tri-series with every top-order batsmen getting runs. While Dhawan leads the tally with 348 runs from three games,skipper Pujara has come back to form with a half-century and a century in successive games.

Apart Dhawan and Pujara,India can also bank on Rohit Sharma’s form,who has hit a hattrick of fifties so far. —PTI

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