New Delhi: Dhawan had to wait for a long time for a call-up in the Indian Test side. And since he has got that now, the left-hander doesn't want to waste that chance. He says he has grown as a cricketer and knows the demands of international cricket.
Dhawan on Sunday was picked in the 15-member Indian squad that will take Australia in the first two Tests. The 27-year-old was named Man of the Series in the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh in 2004 and, while his other ex-Under-19 team-mates like Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa, RP Singh and Suresh Raina have made it to the Indian squad, Dhawan has got that opportunity quite late.
"There's time for everything and I feel this (call) has come at the right time for me. I have matured as a cricketer in these years while playing domestic cricket. I understand my game very well now and also know what to expect at the international level," Dhawan told Times of India.
The Delhi opener had a very good domestic season in which he scored 833 runs, including four hundreds and three fifties at an average over 55. He took this season as make-or-break and worked hard. And the reward is very satisfying, he said.
"I was definitely hopeful of getting selected. I was determined to do well this season. I didn't have a good West Indies tour [with India A] so I wanted to do well. I trained a lot at NCA, played local matches in Delhi. Then I did well in Challengers, Duleep Trophy and Ranji Trophy. I got the opportunity to play in the warm-up game against England and I scored a hundred against good bowling attack. I will carry that confidence with me. It was a good finish to the domestic season but my career has just started," Dhawan, added.
Dhawan, who has represented India in five ODIs and one Twenty20 internationals, has often been labeled as flat-track bully, someone who could score runs on flat wickets. However, the left-hander disagrees with that.
"I have scored runs in all conditions. I have scored runs on bouncy wickets of Australia and South Africa. So it doesn't bother me too much. My job is to score runs and that's what I have been doing. This year, we have played on some lively wickets and I have done well there. I don't believe in one-day or Twenty20 tags. I enjoy playing all the formats, Test cricket though is the ultimate format," he said.