Indian opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan might have missed out on a well-deserved hundred in the first ODI against England in Pune; however, it resulted in a victory. Shikhar Dhawan top-scored with 98 and was one of the players to muster a half-century as the hosts accumulated a competitive total to win by 66 runs. The southpaw wanted to give his best to the team even when restricted to the bench after the first T20I and was not entirely disappointed at not reaching three figures.
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma started cautiously to propel India to a 50-run stand before the latter departed. It brought the Indian captain Virat Kohli to the crease with whom Dhawan shared a flamboyant century-stand before Kohli perished for 56. Soon after, Shikhar Dhawan also walked back as he could not connect the pull shot off Ben Stokes’ bowling. His 106-ball innings had 11 fours and two sixes. Dhawan also got a reprieve off Adil Rashid’s bowling as Moeen Ali dropped a straightforward chance at mid-wicket.
But India put up a competitive total as the unbeaten 112-run stand between KL Rahul and debutant Krunal Pandya rescued the men in blue from a tricky position. England lost their way even after a whirlwind 135-run opening partnership. Jonny Bairstow top-scored with 94 as the tourists lost all their wickets for 116 runs to be bowled out for 251. The number one ODI team will look to bounce back in the second ODI.
I was being a good 12th man: Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan highlighted that he felt happy with their performance as India made an impressive comeback. The Delhi batsman revealed that he kept working hard ahead of the limited-overs matches and pointed out that they knew they could make runs later with the ball seaming early. As for missing out on three figures, Dhawan stated that it does not bother him much and there is always a next time. He concluded that he remained positive in his mind when benched and was confident of scoring runs whenever given chances.
“Very happy with the performance. Great comeback. Really enjoyed it. I was putting all my efforts in the process. Was doing good gym, running, net sessions whenever possible. Eventually my smart work paid off. We knew ball was seaming early on (Rohit and him). We knew we could score runs later on. You feel bit sad (getting out on 98) but I am not a person who gets too sad or too happy. I was not in a rush to score 100, went for a shot, got out. There’s always a next time. When I wasn’t playing, I was thinking how I can give to the team. I was being a good 12th man (laughs), serving water. In my head, though, I was quite positive. That when I get an opportunity I can score runs,” Shikhar Dhawan said in the post-match presentation.