After a dream Test debut, Shikhar Dhawan has seen the tougher side of international cricket and the opening batsman says he has learnt to value failure as much as success in the last one year, having experienced both ups and downs in his career. (India vs West Indies 2nd ODI: Wounded hosts aim to draw level vs spirited Windies)
Insisting that failures in England would help him become a better batsman, Dhawan said, "Last one year has been a learning experience for me as I have seen both success and failure. But if you don't know what failure is, you won't be able to enjoy success. I am learning everyday. (Ishant Sharma replaces Mohit Sharma for India vs West Indies ODIs)
"Those six innings that I failed (referring to England Test matches) probably will help me to play 50 good innings," Dhawan said in a pragmatic tone ahead of India's second ODI against West Indies, in New Delhi on Saturday. (Rohit Sharma wants his opener's slot back, happy to fight for it)
Dhawan revealed that skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's backing was a big boost for him during tough times. "It's very important for a player to have his captain backing him during a lean patch and I have received a lot of support from the skipper. He has been India captain for so long and he knows what a player requires. Even the support staff backed me to play my natural game," said Dhawan. (Did India orchestrate Sunil Narine's 'ouster'?)
Has he changed anything in his game, Dhawan explained: "As you go along the way, you learn new things but my basic game has remained the same. You learn about the mental aspect of the game as in how to disturb the flow of the bowlers. You get matured with experience."
Dhawan has had a successful opening partnership with Rohit Sharma in ODIs. But after Rohit got injured, Dhawan has been pairing up with Ajinkya Rahane, and the Delhi batsman feels Rahane's aggressive streak has helped him. (Stats highlights: Jadeja's marathon, Raina's ducks)
"I love opening with both Rohit and Ajinkya. Ajinkya is the aggressor and hits the ball really well. I then take my time to play shots while at times it's the opposite. It's just been two games (four in total) with Ajinkya but I am enjoying it. It's good when runs start coming from both ends," he said.
Dhawan has got out to off spinners a number of times but the left hander said it was hardly a matter of concern. "I am not saying I won't ever get out to off-spinners but I am batting well against them," said Dhawan.
Asked whether the Indian team's morale took a beating after losing the first ODI against an under strength West Indian side, Dhawan replied, "The morale of the team is very good and we are positive for the next game. We are working very hard. Of course, you will win some and lose some but we have to keep working hard. Doing the right things."
The batting collapse in the last match raised eyebrows, but Dhawan is yet to press the panic button.
"Because of one game, you can't really get worried. It's part and parcel of the game. Yes, their fast bowlers bowled well but it doesn't mean we are worried. Next match, spinners might take five wickets but then you can't start worrying about spinners," he said.
On India's death bowling, Dhawan said, "We are working hard on death bowling and we have got better than England. Last match, Shami got two wickets at the death."
Dhawan did not give a straightforward reply when asked about World Cup's core batting unit. "We have enjoyed playing in each other's company but it will be Dhoni bhai who can answer about composition," Dhawan said.