Runs weren’t exactly flowing from his bat before the hundred in the Asia Cup opener against Hong Kong, but Indian batsman Shikhar Dhawan claims that he was never out of form.
Dhawan scored 127 against Hong Kong on Tuesday night as India won by 26 runs to make a winning start in the tournament.
“It wasn’t a question of form, I was batting well but wasn’t getting runs. Great to get runs also,” the opener said after notching up his 14th ODI hundred.
Dhawan did not get a single half century in his last eight innings, during the Test series against England. His recent ODI form was also all about good starts which he failed to convert into big knocks.
The win over Hong Kong was a rather hard-fought win for one of the tournament favourites and once again questions were raised about the Indian middle-order’s frailties, which were thoroughly exposed in the recent tour of England as well.
Dhawan defended his teammates.
“We have won so many series in the last four years and we have also lost some. We are humans. The concern should not be such that everything else, all the good results are forgotten,” he said.
“Some failures should not overshadow all the wins. Just look at (Ambati) Rayudu, he was so good, and he was playing after such a long time. So, it’s good,” he added referring to Rayudu’s 60-run knock in India’s total of 285/7.
What Dhawan could not explain was India letting Hong Kong put on an opening partnership of 174 with Nizakat Khan (92) and rival skipper Anshuman Rath (73) managing to frustrate the more fancied team.
“We didn’t expect for them to score 170-run partnership but they played well. We could have been more consistent in our bowling but we have to give credit to their batsmen, the openers played well. They were calculative, have to appreciate that,” he said.
“There wasn’t much swing or seam in the wicket and our bowlers were coming after a break. It takes time to get into the rhythm as well. Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) was coming back after a break and Shardul (Thakur) hadn’t played much in England,” he reasoned.
On whether the possibility of an embarrassing loss ever struck the team management on Tuesday, Dhawan said that was never the case.
“…we knew that once we get the top-order, we can come back into the game. They gave a decent fight. It’s always good to learn from every match,” he said.