Shikhar Dhawan 2.0 - If The Aggression Is Directly Proportionate To The Seniority > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more
Cricket news - Shikhar Dhawan 2.0 - When aggression becomes directly proportional to seniority
There's a certain lazy, lovable swag about everything that Shikhar Dhawan does. He even treats something as mundane as a pre-match, pre-practice press conference with a big smile, adjusting his sunglasses on his head and sinking back into his chair and gets relative in comparison to establish his confidence, "we have played on turners in Delhi. Those pitches have been much more difficult to score runs on than even here (in Chennai). So we are in a good state to come and play here."
Now Dhawan might just not relate to any of his other teammates not being able to relate to this degree of confidence, and it's very understandable given the place they come from. After all, it's only been a very recent phenomenon in Capitals' cricket that they've taken branding through their players and coaches seriously, finally retaining more than they let go. Dhawan, meanwhile, has been here multiple times during his stints with Mumbai Indians, Sunrisers Hyderabad and even that one season with Delhi Daredevils, in the times when making it to the playoffs was a real thing for them.
His "we just have to play the same way because that is what has given us the success" and "we want to carry forward this momentum" might eventually be no more than a bunch of cliches for a bunch of boys for whom the playoffs is absolutely uncharted territory.
He hasn't seen the desperation Delhi go through, year after year, to justify just why they've underperformed, year after year, despite making some of the most logical buys at auctions, year after year. But he gets where this nagging question comes from - after all, what actually changed?
"I wasn't in the side for 10-11 years so I don't know the processes they went through. But this year was a clean slate and from the name, the owner and it's a new team. Of course the boys are hungry and want to do well. Everything clicked at the right time, everyone chipped in, and not just the players. Even the support staff is playing a huge role," he says.
And then goes into more tangible results on-field. "We have a balanced side, we have got good bowlers, a good batting unit. Any team that has good Indian batsman has an advantage in the IPL."
He's had a massive hand to play through all of this. Now it's no hidden secret that Dhawan, the ODI player, and Dhawan, the T20 player, for all these years have been two different egos. The ODI one is the carefree kid, happy to have fun in the knowledge that more-experienced, more mature and clearly greater players cushion him all around. IPL wasn't that playground for him. Whether it was the price tag, whether it was the fact that he was an international pro, or whether it was as simple as him having accepted his role to play second fiddle to David Warner every single time, a strike-rate hanging around in the 120s clearly wasn't Dhawan being anywhere close to his Indian colours.
This was no Dhawan. This was an imposter.
This imposter had been bought by Delhi in exchange of three three-dimensional players. More pressure. And pressure's first casualty - the strike-rate, again.
But after a string of low scores, made to look a lot worse with the lack of his international skipper's overused word, intent, somewhere, somehow, a switch ticked. The imposter had to be unmasked. "I just changed my thought process. That is it. It is just in the mind. I knew I had to play faster. I knew what shots I have to bring in and what risks I have to take. We have got very good support staff with Sourav and Ponting. They have been very positive," he revealed.
"Also I don't see myself as a senior player. We are all equal.The likes of Shreyas (Iyer) and (Rishabh) Pant are already mature.It is about assessing the situation and talking through the different circumstances.
"I am enjoying smashing the boundaries and expressing myself."
However, we live in times where the enjoying in the moment counts for nothing. It's always the next, the seemingly bigger challenge, which happens to be the World Cup at this stage. Dhawan's had a pretty open, enriching affair with these ICC events. But India - nevermind what the rankings and the results tell you - have visible chinks, which much like what MS Dhoni does for CSK, the top-three, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli, blanket off. He's quick to rubbish the claim though.
"Not just the three of us, the other boys have chipped in as well. We have Kedar (Jadhav), Mahi bhai, Hardik (Pandya) has been amazing and KL Rahul is there as well. Vijay Shankar has come in, he's a talented boy. So we have a great squad."
It obviously is a 1.3 billions' fantasy. There have to be emotions, there has to be pressure on the top three to perform, day in, day out. Surely, right? "We have been doing it for five years now, so nothing's going to change. We're just going to go and play. We've scored so many centuries. Broken so many records. We know how to do it. We know how to do it, we are not going to overthink it, it's alright if it is the World Cup."
Such a Shikhar Dhawan thing to say. Casually, blissfully, cocky.
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