Shikhar Dhawan 'positive about playing just one format': 'You won't find a negative bone in my body'
- Shikhar Dhawan has not played a Test since 2018
- Dhawan recently captained India in ODIs in West Indies
- He is set to lead India again in Zimbabwe
Shikhar Dhawan has said he is "positive" about playing just one format for India before adding "you won't find a negative bone in my body."
The soon-to-turn 37 years old Dhawan last played a Test in 2018 and a T20I in 2021.
Dhawan has captained India in the ODIs quite a few times over the last year or so, with the latest stint being during the tour of the Caribbean. Dhawan led India to a 3-0 win over West Indies and is will lead India once again in their upcoming tour of Zimbabwe, where the Men in Blue are scheduled to play three ODIs.
"I never let this feeling creep into my system that 'Oh God, I am playing only one format or I am playing an ODI series after a long time. Will my body respond well to the rigours of international cricket or will it not?' Frankly speaking, I don't like entertaining these thoughts.
"I view it like this. If I am playing a format after a gap of two months or three months, it always gives me a chance to remain fresh and come into battle fully fit, and with enough time to work on my game," Dhawan said in an interview with PTI.
For the senior opener, it is important to value what he has rather than complain about what he doesn't.
"I am always counting my blessings and if I am playing one format for India, I should try and make the most of it and give it my all. I am a very positive person. You won't find a negative bone in my body," Dhawan smiled.
No Indian batsman has scored more runs for India in the 50-over format than Dhawan over the last two years. The opening batter has scored 975 ODI runs since January 2020 and is well ahead of second-placed KL Rahul with 745 runs. Out of form, Virat Kohli is in third place with 735 runs. However, among the said three batsmen, only Rahul has recorded an ODI century in the last two years.
"I am a calm, mature person. The performance is a reflection of my experience. My basics have been pretty strong and I have 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 that has helped me a lot," added Dhawan further.
It is a two-way street between captain and coach, says Dhawan
Speaking about working with head coach Rahul Dravid, Dhawan said that he shares great communication with the latter.
"It's always a two-way street between captain and coach, and the same is the case between me and Rahul bhai. Whatever decision is taken is a collective one. In meetings, every individual is given the freedom to express his opinion and once we get multiple opinions, we come together and decide what's best.
In this way, you empower people to think and at the same time decide what's best for the team," Dhawan added.
Dhawan feels that fitness-wise, he is getting better with age.
"I think now, at 36, I am fitter than ever before, and also skill-wise, I have gotten better. Gym sessions, skill sessions, running and yoga, these four things are core aspects of my training," the 36-year-old Indian cricketer said further.
Dhawan has not played a First-Class game for Delhi in the last three years and therefore gets a lot of time apart from IPL, where he is able to work on his game and that has really worked in his favour.
"When I am not playing matches, I train at my own academy in Gurgaon. I mostly do my net sessions there. I try and hire some quality net bowlers. Also in and around Gurgaon, you have some good facilities and a lot of net bowlers who are ready to come and bowl to you," the southpaw added.
Shikhar Dhawan: As a leader, my first instinct is to go with a bowler's plan
As a leader, he says he steps in only when Plan A is not working.
"As a leader, my first instinct is to go with a bowler's plan. I ask them what's the plan and what exactly would they want in the fielding set-up. At the highest level, everyone is a hardcore professional, who is there because they know their job well. But yes, if their plan doesn't work, obviously there needs to be a Plan 'B' and me coming into the picture.
"If a bowler is hit for a few boundaries, he is bound to be under pressure and that's the time the captain needs to put an arm around his shoulder. But then also politely nudge him that 'listen your plan isn't working, so why don't you try my plan for a change?" Dhawan explained.