Shikhar Dhawan happy with his flow and rhythm after impressive debut for Sunrisers
Back after an injury-induced break, Hyderabad's Shikhar Dhawan showed the same confidence he demonstrated during his 187 on Test debut. Unfortunately, his 63 went in vain as Chennai won at Chepauk on Thursday night.
After a blistering start to his Test career with a swashbuckling 187, Shikhar Dhawan continued to impress on his debut for Sunrisers Hyderabad too with a 45-ball-63. It was not a 'normal' innings though, divided into two parts, as the batsman had to go off after being hit in the groin, only to return even more rejuvenated.
"I didn't think about that, honestly. I was just feeling good that the pain had lessened and I was again ready to go and bat. I'm pretty used to this pain - I keep getting fractures and such injuries. The pain doesn't take the smile off my face.
"He (Dwayne Bravo) asked me, 'Are you okay, bro?' I told him I'll have to get myself checked by the physio first. We play against each other but when a player is hurt, we care about each other too and give them a good hug," said Dhawan.
Despite his 63, Shikhar could not take his team home through, as a MS Dhoni special ruined Dhawan's efforts with the bat. The left-hander though, was happy with the way his batting shaped up after the injury layoff.
"I got fresh and hungrier to bat again. Before coming into this match I was at the NCA (National Cricket Academy) for a week to 10 days. I practised there and prepared for the match.
"When I started batting in the nets I found that I had the same flow and rhythm that I felt during the Test. So, I just came in keeping in mind how to pace my innings and plan it. I worked on my skills in the nets and decided to plan the rest on the basis of the wicket and the bowling," said a confident Dhawan.
Dhawan was particularly impressive with the way he adjusted to T20 format, playing reverse sweeps, cheeky paddle shots off pacers and also the more conventional shots with authority.
"I do change my game a lot. Yes, I did score the fastest century on Test debut but I didn't plan to do so. It was a lucky day for me and it just happened. But generally when I am playing days of cricket I do go slow. I do prepare very differently for T20 format, mostly suiting to the demands of the game.
"I watched the ball coming out of his (Ashwin) hand and I knew that he was going to bowl something different. I just waited on it and found it was a leg-spinner. It was pitched in my area and I hit it," said Dhawan when asked about the boundary he hit off the off-spinner.
Dhawan, not generally known for power-hitting, also batted well in the death overs, hitting Bravo and Mohit Sharma for boundaries at will. One 'Dhawan-scoop' caught everyone's attention, even the batsman's himself.
"Yes, I do. I plan to use it mostly only in the T20 format. In the one-dayers if the situation arises where I have to try something different to create scoring opportunities, I don't mind using it there too. Today (Thursday) I could feel that I wasn't able to hit big shots. I didn't hit a single six. So, I thought instead of wasting the ball I should use the bowler's pace and sneak in some runs, if not the preferred way, the other way."