New Delhi: Opener Shikhar Dhawan is an integral part of the Indian team in the ODI format but believes he can still contribute a lot in the T20 format.
The 36-year-old from Delhi hopes that he can easily play cricket for the next three years. Dhawan has scored 421 runs so far in the Indian Premier League, proving that he is once again in excellent form. The team has yet to play one more match.
His consistency in this T20 league can be gauged from the fact that the last time he scored less than 300 runs was in 2015. Dhawan did not find a place in the Indian team of the last T20 World Cup even after leading India on the tour of Sri Lanka last year and scoring runs consistently. Dhawan is expected to make a comeback in the home series against South Africa starting June 9. He believes that his experience can come in handy in the T20 system.
"I think I can contribute in the shortest format because of my experience," Dhawan said in an interview to PTI on Friday. I am doing very well in the T20 format. Whatever role has been given to me, I have played it very well.
"I have managed to maintain consistency in whatever format I am playing, be it IPL or domestic level and I am enjoying it," he said even after leading the Indian team in Sri Lanka. Dhawan was disappointed when he failed to find a place in the squad for the T20 World Cup, but his positive thinking helped him.
“Yes, I am a very positive person. Leading the team last year was like a dream come true for me. For the T20 World Cup, they (selectors) felt that the (selected) players are better than me and there is no harm in that." He said, "I respect the decision of the selectors. This happens in life. You accept it and keep doing your job. I only focus on the things that are in my control and I try to make the most of the opportunity given to me.
Dhawan, who has played 34 Tests, 149 ODIs and 68 T20Is for India, said that he wants to play cricket for another three years. Dhawan, who made his debut for the national team in 2010, said, "I don't put unnecessary pressure on myself. It is a process that never ends. I wouldn't be happy if I thought of things that way. My average in ODIs is 45.53. I am always looking to improve the game, analyze how I can get better.
"As a cricketer, we have to 'keep our feet on the ground'. One has to be fit to stay in the race to represent India. I can play for at least the next three years. I have been batting very well for the last few years, I am hopeful and positive that with the way I am performing, I can achieve many milestones.
He said, “My focus is not on the destination but on the journey. It's about how I can continue to improve myself as a cricketer." Asked about Punjab Kings' performance in the IPL, he said the team should have been a little more consistent.
The team was knocked out of the race for the playoffs after a loss against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last match.
Dhawan said, “I would have liked to win more matches for the team. We did well sometimes as a batting unit and sometimes as a bowling unit, but both should have done well together on more occasions. If we had done that, we would have been in a much better position.