Dhoni praises Dhawan

Dhoni praises Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan struck a swashbuckling 85-ball-100 against Ireland on Tuesday for his second ton of the tournament to go with his 137 against South Africa last month in Melbourne. With 333 runs from five matches, Dhawan is the second highest run-getter in this World Cup behind Kumar Sangakkara’s 372.

From an insecure opening batsman, who didn’t know where his next run would come from, this has been some turn-around. While dropping the left-hander would have been a populist move, the team management stuck with the struggling batsman that’s paying handsome dividends now. 
“It's important to back players, and we try to do it to the extent we can,” MS Dhoni said when asked about Dhawan’s resurgence. “I felt though he had a tough series, but still I felt we had put in a lot of effort on him and not to forget without his contribution it would have been very difficult to win the Champions Trophy. So we always believed in him. But the final step needs to be taken from the individual, and I felt he prepared well for these ODIs. It obviously takes time but I have always said, it's those 15 minutes that really changes everything, and I'm glad he got those 15 minutes,” he reasoned.

Dhoni was most impressed with Dhawan’s ability to make it big once he gets good starts. “What he's doing well is he is making the most out of (starts),” he stressed. “As you know you may go through tough periods where you may not score runs, and you may get good deliveries, but it's important to think about the process. Whatever your limitations are, you keep improving on those areas. Whatever your strength is, you make sure that whenever (the ball) is in that particular area you make the most out of it by getting a boundary. But overall the difference I've seen in his batting is once he gets a start he makes a good -- you can say he takes that as an opportunity to reward that start into big innings, and right from the first game that's what he's done. He's not someone who is happy getting a 50. He knows that the team needs him to score big runs. So once he gets to his 15, he hits the next milestone which is a hundred,” he explained.

Dhoni felt with Dhawan scoring big, it has multiple benefits for the team. “With him doing well, it becomes slightly easy for some of the other guys to bat around him. He's someone who can also accelerate at a decent pace. He uses the pace of the bowler and can bat aggressively. So all in all, I'm quite happy with the way he's gone forward. I think he prepared well and kept believing in himself.”

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