His brilliant 73-run knock in the warm-up game against South Africa might have fallen just short of ensuring a win for India, but opener Shikhar Dhawan said the crucial time he had spent at the crease has made him more “wiser” ahead of their ICC World Twenty20 campaign.(Full Coverage|| Fixtures||Photos)
Chasing a steep 197 for win, Dhawan smashed 73 off 53 balls before retiring but the knock was not enough to take India home as the hosts fell short by four runs at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday night.
“As (an) individual, it was a good learning for me as I batted till the 15th-16th over, so with my calculation for the next coming games, I will be more better. It was a good learning for me and I got more wiser,” Dhawan told reporters at the post-match conference on Saturday.
Asked why despite having some of the best finishers of the game, India failed to cross the hurdle on Saturday, the 30-year-old left-hander said, “Certainly, these are normal things. It does not happen that the best finishers will always guarantee you to complete the task. Everyone gave their best and that’s what matters. We were chasing such a big total, and wickets fell early on, after that there was a good partnership and came so close. It was only a matter of two runs. We learnt a lot from this game. What we have learnt today, will be implemented in the future.”
Dhawan said that Team India has now got used to the expectations of home crowd.
“We stay close as a family. We’ll try to share the burden of expectation as a group and not individuals. We are playing at home and expectations of home crowds will always be there. We are also used to that,” he said.
Dhawan also said that India are trying different bowling combinations ahead of the main round of the mega-event.
“We guys were trying combinations, like Bhajji pa (Harbhajan Singh) bowled the first over. I guess that’s how we are trying and it’s good everyone is getting a game and getting used to the pressure, the wickets,” he added.
According to the Delhi cricketer, the current Indian team has got depth in both batting and bolwing and Hardik Pandya has become a big asset with his own field performances.
“We have got depth in our side in both batting and bowling. We also have got a very good allrounder in Hardik (Pandya) who is performing. He just came in the side and have been performing from the word go. That is a big positive and we got experience now in our side.
“Yuvi pa’s (Yuvraj Singh) presence makes huge difference for all youngsters and of course their experience comes in handy. Because of all these reasons, I feel why everyone is rating us the best. We guys have been winning consistently and from those wins we are getting a lot of confidence and we are building our confidence game after game,” he said.
India will face New Zealand in their tournament opener in Nagpur on Tuesday.
Asked about India’s first match against New Zealand, Dhawan said, “We have earlier played against them. We know the strengths of their particular batsman and bowler. We are ready for the game.”
Meanwhile, South African pacer Chris Morris has described the experience of bowling the all-important last over, from which India needed 14 for a win, as “nerve-wracking”.
The right-arm medium pacer said the Proteas will take a of positives from the game into the main round of the tournament.
“It was nerve-weacking. I am happy that we could finish the result on our side. It could have gone any way but the victory was crucial. Any victory is important and that also to beat India. It’s important to win no matter who we play. The momentum is an important part of the game. We will take a lot of positives,” he said.
Without elaborating much, Morris said the Proteas have devised plans for each Indian batsmen.
“We have got our plans for each batsman be it (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni or Yuvraj (Singh). We study a lot behind the scene. I have played against MS (Dhoni),” the 28-year-old bowler said.