Dhawan happy to be back at Mohali stadium

Dhawan happy to be back at Mohali stadium

Dhawan happy to be back at Mohali stadium

Shikhar Dhawan is back to the venue where his cricketing life changed forever. The Delhi batsman made his Test debut earlier this year and stunned everyone with a whirlwind 187 off 174 balls, the fastest century by a debutant.

Ahead of the third ODI, he once again finds the opponents in Australia at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium here.

The feisty opener’s voice mellows down while recounting the moment, after which he was picked for the Champions Trophy and showed he was as good with the white leather with two centuries in India’s first two matches. Dhawan, fresh from his gutsy innings of 95 in India’s historic chase on Wednesday, said he would like to repeat his Test performance on Saturday.

“I have great memories here. I made my debut and got a century. So yes, I want to repeat the same tomorrow,” Dhawan, 27, told reporters on the eve of the match on Friday.

Asked about his sudden success in international cricket, Dhawan said: “The change was more in the mind, my skills are the same. I have matured and I value my wicket more. And I am hungrier. I am smiling more! I have started changing things in the nets. I am more focussed. I have been working hard from day one.” Dhawan insisted they believed from the start that chasing 360 was possible.

“From the time I walked out of the dressing room, I thought it could be chased. We are always positive and our captain had asked us to play ball by ball. The target was quite big but he asked us not to worry about it and just enjoy ourselves,” he said. “The 300 is a normal target these days. But 360 was a big target. We were mentally strong enough to do it. Our attitude and thinking was great.”

The opener reasoned India’s poor bowling performance on good batting wickets. “These are good batting wickets. Our bowlers are doing a great job, though we are trying to improve and become stronger.”

Dhawan felt dew could play a crucial role on Saturday. “Dew is an important factor. It is a good pitch for batsmen and fast bowlers. So you can expect lots of runs and a lot of wickets too.”

Asked for his views on two new balls rule, Dhawan said: “It’s not good for the openers because you have to face the new ball for ten overs. For an opener, the ball swings longer. So we have to be more strong.”

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