India opener Shikhar Dhawan, who has been in form of his life this year with five centuries in ODIs — also a world record — is confident to carry on his good form in the upcoming South Africa tour.
India will play three ODIs and two Tests against South Africa starting December 5. Dhawan said his experience with India ‘A’ during the tri-series in South Africa in August this year will keep him in good stead for his return trip to the country next month. In India’s fourth match of the tri-series against South Africa ‘A’ Dhawan smashed his way to the record books with a 150-ball 248 against South Africa ‘A’. This was also the second highest individual List ‘A’ score behind former Surrey batsman Alistair Brown’s 268.
“Confidence will always be in me. That’s a natural thing. I recently went there (South Africa) for the ‘A’ tour and did very well. The bouncy track suits my game. It was an advance to go to South Africa as I got an opportunity to play on the pitches there. That is a big advance for me as of now. This will boost my confidence. The pitches there will be helpful for bowlers and batsmen as well. I’ll try to prepare my game according to the pitch there,” Dhawan said on the sidelines of a promotional event in the city yesterday.
The 27-year-old, who has scored 1219 runs in his 28 matches for India at an average of 46.88, has backed the Men in Blue to do well against the Proteas.
“There are going to be bouncy tracks there (in South Africa) but the good thing is that we have played against Australia (in the seven-match ODI series in India) and faced some good quality fast bowling from Mitchell Johnson and others. The other good thing for us is that all the batsmen are performing really well. We’re a good fielding side too — that’s a bonus. The team is very confident and we are gelling very nicely as a team. So, I’m really looking forward to this tour,” the left-hander said.
“We have been doing well abroad this season… won Champions Trophy in England and beat West Indies on their home ground. So, the team is really confident going to South Africa,” he added.
Dhawan felt the Indian Premier League has helped Indian players get over the nervousness of facing international bowlers. “We now are a lot more confident facing international bowlers. The nerves have gone.”
He lauded his fellow teammates Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli: “Rohit has been doing really well this season… scoring a double century in a ODI is one of the biggest things for any batsman. I am very happy for him. We all are very good friends and enjoy each others success. That’s the beauty of our team. Virat too has been doing well. So, it’s great to see that all our top-order batsmen are firing.”