Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan top-scored for India in a losing cause at Boland Park on Wednesday as the South Africans managed to humble India by 31 runs in the first ODI.
Dhawan scored 79 in 84 balls on a pitch that was tough to bat on until the batters took their time and settled in. He was also out of favour with the selectors but has made a comeback in Rohit Sharma’s absence and is keen to take full toll of it.
“I don’t listen to the media or don’t read newspapers or watch the news, that way I don’t take all that information. I have full confidence in myself that what my game is and I have clarity on that and I stay quite calm.”
“And this is part of life, this happens in life, everyone’s life has ups and downs, so it is nothing new and happening for the first time or for the last time in my career or my life, so it is alright, that only makes me stronger,” Dhawan told after the first match.
“Not an easy wicket to bat on” – Shikhar Dhawan on Paarl surface
After winning the toss, Temba Bavuma was keen on batting first as he wanted to make the most of a pitch that would only worsen with time. It may have seemed like the wrong call as they found themselves in a hole at 68/3 but the skipper himself and Rassie van der Dussen stitched a 204-run partnership which tilted the scales in their favour. Speaking about the surface Dhawan said:
“We had a good start and I feel the wicket was slow, it was offering a bit of turn as well. So, when you are chasing (around) 300 runs when the middle-order comes to bat, it is not easy to play shots. Our wickets fell in a heap and that had an impact on us as a batting unit.”
Dhawan also mentioned that the team will benefit once its regular skipper, Rohit Sharma, comes back into the team after recovering from his injury.
“Now Rohit (Sharma) isn’t there, once he comes back, an experienced player will come in and the middle-order (Rahul will go down) will get stronger. So, the youngsters who are getting a chance, will gain from this experience. We are looking at the bigger picture,” Dhawan added.
The second ODI begins at the same venue on Friday at 2:00 pm IST.