India's dashing opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan feels the appointment of former captain Ravi Shastri as the team director was perfectly timed and helped them bounce back strongly from the Test series loss to win the ODI series in an emphatic fashion. (Also read: MS Dhoni lauds team after Edgbaston win | "England didn't test us at all")
"I would like to thank the entire support staff and especially Ravi (Shastri) bhai, who has given us a lot of confidence since he has joined the team. A very big thanks to my family for standing by me," said Dhawan, who struck an unbeaten 97 to fashion India's nine-wicket win over England in the fourth ODI here on Tuesday. (Scorecard | Match in pics)
With the win, India also sealed the series 3-0 with still a match to go. The first ODI in Bristol was washed out while India won the second ODI in Cardiff by 133 runs via the Duckworth Lewis method and the third in Nottingham by six wickets. (Shikhar Dhawan-Ajinkya Rahane: India's new opening pair?)
Dhawan said the ODI series win will stand in good stead for India ahead of the 2015 World Cup. (Also read: England coach Moores' World Cup plans in tatters)
"We are playing the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and six months before that, winning an ODI series in England so comprehensively, is a huge confidence booster. It is all the more special given how we bounced back from the disappointing Test series. What I will take back from here is the way the entire team stuck together despite what we went through. We stood by each other every single moment and helped each other move on. I am proud of these boys," Dhawan was quoted as saying by BCCI's official site. (Rahane shines bright, says batting with Dhawan was fun)
After a wretched Test series with the bat, where the opening batsman scored 122 runs in the first three matches before being dropped, Shikhar's run of low scores continued in the second and third ODI, with 10 and 16. But he came back to form in the fourth ODI with a majestic 97 and forged a 183-run stand with fellow opener Ajinkya Rahane (106) to script another massive win for India.
"For me failure is not a bad thing, because it teaches you how to succeed. I kept practicing hard and kept believing in the process. I made a few minor changes in my technique. I opened up my shoulder a bit due to which the vision of the bowler and his arm improved a lot. It has also led me into playing straighter than before," Dhawan said.
Asked if it was the perfect chance to get back in form, Dhawan said: "Ajinkya was in beautiful touch and the way he hit Anderson for those four fours in an over, it released all the pressure from us. I was not it bad touch myself but my flow wasn't as good as his. So I kept taking singles at the other end and gave him most of the strike initially. It was the perfect partnership between us. The jugalbandi (a duet of two solo musicians) was brilliant."
Dhawan said his game does depend a lot on confidence.
"Without confidence, I would not have been able to score runs today. To be honest, even during the Tests and in the first two ODIs, it wasn't like I was struggling to put bat on ball. It happens with every batsman; sometimes despite feeling good in the nets, you don't score runs in the match," he said.
The Delhi batsman said it is always difficult to come out of a bad form.
"It is difficult. You are trying everything you can to score runs - you're working on your technique, preparing yourself mentally and doing everything right before a match. But still you go through one failure after another. At this time it is very important to have patience and keep the belief intact. All you can do is keep trying and keep working. Sometimes, you also have to admit that you are getting good balls and the opposition has your number. That's what I tried to do. I didn't over-think or get too frustrated; I worked hard wholeheartedly and prepared as smartly as I could, and then accepted that this is a bad phase and I have to get through it," he said.