Cricket

We have to be patient with Dhawan, says Kohli

Shikhar Dhawan…has the captain’s backing.

Shikhar Dhawan…has the captain’s backing.  

Virat Kohli came out in forceful support of Shikhar Dhawan here on Wednesday, defending his colleague’s recent record.

Dhawan, who averaged 25.2 in the one-day series against South Africa, was dismissed for a duck in both innings of the first Test in Mohali. The left-hander made an unbeaten 45 in the second Test here, before rain washed out the last four days.

“If you call scoring two hundreds in three Test matches struggling, then I don’t know what ‘in-form’ is,” Kohli said.

“He got a hundred in Galle, and a hundred in Bangladesh (Fatullah). Unfortunately, he got injured afterwards and played his next Test match only in Mohali. So let’s not be too hard on someone because of two or three innings. This is international cricket.”

The India captain did not feel Dhawan had been playing poorly.

“We have to be patient with players like Shikhar because he is an impact player,” he said. “We need to give him as much confidence as we can. When he gets going, he wins you the game — that is a certainty. I don’t think he has been out of form; he has been batting beautifully.

“Sometimes, you will not get the scores that you desire, but how you are playing at that moment is important.”

Captain pleased

Kohli was pleased with Dhawan’s knock here, and believed that the opener was on his way to a big score before rain stalled proceedings.

“Shikhar is hitting the ball well and he got runs here which is good for his mental set-up,” he said. “We don’t see any issues with his batting or his confidence. We have to let the individual come into his own, and not put too much pressure on him. I’m sure he is happy with the way he batted here.

“If he had more overs to bat, he would have been 70 or 80 not out or would possibly have got a hundred. He is the sort of player who can take the game away very quickly.”

After the fifth day’s play was called off, Dhawan was seen out on the pitch, with assistant coach Sanjay Bangar throwing balls down at him.

“I’m delighted that he is feeling good about his batting,”

Kohli said: “I’m sure he would want to score a lot of runs in this series.”

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 3:16:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/we-have-to-be-patient-with-dhawan-says-kohli/article7892842.ece

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