Rishi eyes India spot through IPL journey

Sharing the dressing room with Sachin Tendulkar is a memory that Rishi Dhawan would cherish all his life and now the young Himachal Pradesh all-rounder is confident that he would have an equally great time playing alongside Virender Sehwag for Kings XI Punjab this season.

“What do I say about Sachin paaji. It was special to spend time with him,” said Dhawan while recalling his stint with the Mumbai Indians. “The IPL winning moments with him will stay with me forever. He used to point out all my faults at the nets and I became a better player as the tournament went on. Now it is great to play with Viru paaji.”

The 24-year-old was bought for Rs three crore at the back of a solid show in the Ranji Trophy where he was the highest wicket-taker besides scoring 450 runs.
He said his focus this IPL is to perform his dual role so well that he gets a shot at being the seaming all-rounder India is looking for a long time.

Expectations have increased from the lad from Mandi after he did well in the recent domestic T20 games in Mohali. “There is no point putting pressure on myself ahead of the IPL. It has been a good time for me and my family since the auction. I am not really distracted by the attention and the focus is on playing good cricket. Hopefully, it will get me into the Indian team,” Dhawan said.

Getting into the national team like any upcoming player is the ultimate dream for Dhawan, who can realise it rather quickly given that India are still unable to find a seaming all-rounder for the long run.


Stuart Binny could not do much with his chances, while Irfan Pathan has been out of the team owing to form and fitness.

“I am trying the best I can irrespective of the level I am playing at. It now depends on the selectors, when they think of giving me the opportunity.”

Asked about his role, the cricketer said: “I see myself more as a batting all-rounder. Every match I play I make sure I give equal attention to both batting and bowling.”

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