New Delhi: His talent was unquestionable but Shikhar Dhawan's success can be attributed to the fact that he has started to value his wicket a lot more, feels former batsman VVS Laxman.
"I have known him for many years. He is a talented and skillful player. He has done really well for Delhi, North zone and now Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL. He made an impressive debut against Australia. The only change that I see in him is that he values his wicket even more," Laxman told PTI Bhasha over phone.
"He is not giving away his wicket easily which has helped him to convert good starts into big knocks. He has learnt to respect his wicket," the 38-year-old commented.
Laxman also lavished praise on skipper MS Dhoni for keeping the focus on the tournament despite disturbing developments back home. "Credit goes to Dhoni and his team. The manner in which they focussed on the game forgetting about the developments back home is really commendable. He has remained calm throughout which is a fantastic thing."
The Hyderabadi also praised Dhoni for instilling confidence in youngsters like Ravindra Jadeja. "He made some good tactical moves throughout the tournament including in the final. Apart from this, I appreciate the way he is instilling confidence among young players and Ravindra Jadeja is a classic example of that. Dhoni has identified his talent and encouraged him to produce his best. Now Jadeja is doing wonders for team India," he said.
Laxman didn't want to pass a judgement on whether India have found Rohit Sharma and Dhawan as an ideal pair replacing the seasoned duo of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag.
"It will be too early to pass a judgement like this. I am pleased with the way Rohit and Shikhar have played in the English conditions. It is really tough playing in England with two new balls and they did an appreciable job."
What worked in India's favour was their players were match-fit post Indian Premier League and the victories in the two warm-up games gave them an advantage going into the tournament.
"Indian team has played some wonderful cricket right from the first warm-up game in which they have beaten Sri Lanka. After that they beat Australia in a comendable manner, it gave a lot of confidence before the start of the tournament. I think two practice matches were crucial," he said.