He will have to fight it out with the in-form KL Rahul and a solid Murali Vijay for one of the opening slots in the playing XI of the Test team but Shikhar Dhawan terms the competition “good for Indian cricket” and finds “nothing wrong with it”.
“I am aware that there could be three players for two (opening) spots. But there is nothing wrong in it. In fact it is good for Indian cricket. To have healthy competitions among players for places in the team is good for Indian cricket and the game in general. Rahul has done well in the recent past — not only in the Test matches but also in T20 cricket,” Dhawan told reporters after the Duleep Trophy final.
Dhawan said that it’s always disappointing to be dropped from the playing XI but it also acts as a motivation for a comeback. Dhawan was dropped for the fourth Test against West Indies at Port of Spain. “I definitely feel sad but that only act as a motivation. When I was out of India’s T20 team, I did feel sad but at the same time got tremendous motivation within myself to do well and come back in the team,” Dhawan said.
The upcoming series against New Zealand, beginning with the first Test in Kanpur, could be dominated by spinners, feels Dhawan. “New Zealand have some good players like their captain (Kane) Williamson and (Tim) Southee. They can make an impact in the series. At the same time, it could be a spinning track in the series. They have Mitchell Santner in the side, who bowled well in the World T20, is also there,” Dhawan said.
He also praised coach Anil Kumble for his aggressive approach which also rubs in on the players. “I feel good to work with Kumble bhai. He is a well-read person and a dedicated coach. I also like his aggressive approach to the game,” said the left-hander.
The Delhi left-hander however was non-committal on future of pink ball cricket. “It is too early to comment on pink ball cricket under lights. You can look at it from different perspectives. We (India Red) could not play well here (Duleep Trophy final). We batted poorly. On the otherhand, they (India Blue) did wonderfully well with both bat and the ball. So, there are two sides of it.
“I don’t want to form an opinion to early. Let there be 5-10 matches and some more tournaments with the pink ball. Then we will know where it stands,” concluded Dhawan.