I know how to handle pressure at international level: Shikhar Dhawan

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Pune: India opener Shikhar Dhawan, whose 98 runs off 106 deliveries earned him a Man-of-the-Match award in the first ODI against England, said international cricket is all about pressure and as an experienced player he knows how to handle such situations.

Dhawan had played just one T20I in the just-concluded five-match series against England in Ahmedabad. He played in the first match and was dropped after that. The 35-year-old came back strong when given an opportunity in the ODIs.

“In international cricket, pressure is always there and the good thing is as a (an) experienced player, I know how to handle pressure nicely. And secondly, as I said, because I am an experienced player, so I know what shots to play on what wickets and we read the wicket nicely and communicate very nicely in the batting unit and that’s what we did and that worked for us,” he said in the post-match press conference.

“Of course, once I got set, I have a lot of shots, that I can get my runs.” Dhawan explained how he kept himself positive when things were not going his way. “I kept myself quite positive when I wasn’t playing in the T20I series. I was focusing on my process, fitness, skill-work, gym-work and I always stay in a positive mental space. “I always try and look at the positives from every situation. That’s what I was doing. I was working on my batting. I knew that if I get an opportunity, I’ll take it,” he added.

“It wouldn’t have made any sense if you would have gone hard at the start, losing few wickets, so our plan was just to stay on the wicket and respect the good deliveries. We knew that both of us, Rohit and me, we can always cash those runs later on and wicket would have been bit more supportive for the batsmen and even that also, in the end, we scored such a big total,” he added.

The opener also heaped praise for the young players who have come into the side and spoke about how the IPL has helped them in the long run. “The new players who have come into the side, it feels that they are confident, because they play so many domestic games and IPL and they share dressing room with big players, play against them, that builds confidence and they feel that there are same players at the international level.

“There are top notch coaches there, so the IPL exposure helps a lot, and our domestic cricket is strong, it is good mix of the two, because of which the new players are performing, so whenever the team transition happens, it won’t be felt,” he concluded.

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