Shikhar Dhawan was dropped from the Indian XI after the first T20I against England, with question marks hanging around his future in the format. However, he put any such doubts aside in the ODI format and smashed 98 in the first ODI to help India win by 66 runs in Pune.
Speaking after winning the Man of the Match award, Dhawan said he was always thinking how he could help the team even from the bench.
‘Shikhar Dhawan’s Body Language Was Amazing Even in Bench’ – Virat Kohli
“When I wasn’t playing, I was thinking how I can give to the team. I was being a good 12th man, serving water. In my head, though, I was quite positive and preparing, working on my skills. That when I get an opportunity I can score runs,” he said at the post match presentation.
“I was putting all my efforts in the process. Was doing good gym, running, net sessions whenever possible. Eventually my hard work paid off.”
Dhawan missed his century by two runs but was not too bothered by the landmark.
“You feel bit sad (getting out on 98) but I am not a person who gets too sad or too happy,” he said. “I was not in a rush to score 100, went for a shot, got out. There’s always a next time.
“Very happy with the performance especially because the team won. Great comeback. Really enjoyed it.”
The knock left Kohli full of praise for the left hander.
“A special mention to Shikhar,” Kohli said in the post match presentation. “His body language was amazing when he wasn’t playing. He was motivating players, running with extra stuff like water. Today he deservedly got the result he achieved. Made a very important contribution. You saw it was tricky first up and the openers had to start off that way. In that context, his innings was very important since he batted the tough overs. His contribution was better than what the scorecard was.”
Meanwhile, Prasidh Krishna made a dream debut picking up four wickets after being taken apart in the initial overs.
“I didn’t start off well, they went hard, but we took wickets in a cluster. I just wanted to hit good areas, I thought after the third over I can’t bowl full and hit the good lengths,” he explained/ “As a bowling unit, we were outstanding today. I want to be called a hit-the-deck bowler, I think I’m better at it. I will go back, work on my lengths, and come back. I hope I can do it for the team for long. From the beginning even if we are going for runs, the talk was to pick up a wicket.”