Cricket

Pitch was the culprit: Dhawan

Silver-lining: Shikhar Dhawan was one of the few positives for India from the first ODI would look for support from the middle-order.

Silver-lining: Shikhar Dhawan was one of the few positives for India from the first ODI would look for support from the middle-order.

Despite India falling short by 31 runs against South Africa in the first One-Day International at Paarl, Shikhar Dhawan, who has been overlooked from the T20 side, gave a good account of himself on Wednesday with a masterful 79 (84b, 10x4) on a slow and difficult pitch for batting.

The 36-year-old came into the series without many runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy but looked the most fluent batter for India.

Well prepared

Speaking about how important the knock is for his career, Dhawan said, “I just know how to give my best and I always make sure that my preparation is good. I know that with my experience and self-confidence, I’ll do good and I am happy that I did well today.”

The left-handed opener also said if he is fit and healthy, he can count on his vast experience to keep scoring runs.

“I have great clarity about my game and I stay calm. Ups and downs are always there, it’s not the first time nor will it be the last time in my career or my life. This only makes me stronger,” said Dhawan.

The loss in the first ODI once again exposed India’s middle-order woes, but he felt the pitch was such that a new player could not start scoring right away, especially while chasing a big total.

Good start, but...

“We had a good start and the wicket was a bit slow. It was offering a bit of turn as well. When the wicket slows down, you need to spend some time in the middle. But, when you are chasing 300 runs, you can’t always get that time, so at times you tend to lose wickets in a heap,” he said.

Once Rohit Sharma returned, the middle-order would get stronger and the youngsters would gain from the experience, the veteran opener added.


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Printable version | May 21, 2022 10:31:17 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/pitch-was-the-culprit-dhawan/article38298945.ece