“I would like to be an asset, not a handicap”: the courageous declaration of a great Indian | locust

Indian cricket is approaching another period of transition. The management of the team is already shaping young people to be the stars of tomorrow because after the 2023 World Cup, some seniors should stop on one or two formats. Years ago when Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag retired, their places were taken by Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma. And nearly 10 years later that saw these men become legend, another changing of the guard is inevitable.



If you look closely, the change has already begun. Virat Kohli is resting and in his absence, youngsters are put on trial. Likewise, Rohit Sharma, the captain, occasionally receives breaks to manage his workload and avoid low-key tournaments. Shikhar Dhawan, who was once an inevitable part of India’s three formats, now only plays one despite his shape and fitness. In fact, Dhawan, who played his last Test in 2018 and performs regularly in the IPL, is repeatedly passed over from India’s T20I setup. That said, Dhawan continues to play ODIs and will likely play a part in the 2023 World Cup. But what’s beyond that, Dhawan isn’t sure.



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“Until I play for India, I would like to be an asset and not a liability. I am a calm and matured person. The performance is a reflection of my experience. My foundations have been quite strong and I “I put in a lot of work to improve my technique. Understanding a format is also very important. I understand the dynamics of the ODI format and it helped me a lot,” Dhawan told PTI.

“I never let that feeling creep into my system that ‘Oh my God, I’m only playing one format or I’m playing an ODI series after a long time. Will my body respond well to the rigors of international cricket or not? Frankly, I don’t like to entertain these thoughts. I see it like that. If I play a format after a gap of two or three months, it still gives me a chance to stay fresh and come into the fight fully fit, and with enough time to work on my game.”



While Dhawan played T20Is for India in July 2021, he was part of the IPL points, having scored 618 points in 2020, 587 in 2021 and 460 more earlier this year. Yet a callback from T20I continues to elude him. In the ODIs however, Dhawan has been a different beast altogether, having scored 971 points from 22 ODIs since the start of 2020 and hopes to build on that when he leads Team India in Zimbabwe. At 36, for an opening hitter to do so well is something few would have imagined.

“I always count my blessings and if I play any format for India, I should try to make the most of it and give my all. I’m a very positive person. You won’t find a negative bone in my body. I think now, at 36, I am fitter than ever and also in terms of skills I have improved. Gym sessions, skills sessions, running and yoga, these four things are essential aspects of my training “, he added.



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