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Crucial 97 will give Shikhar Dhawan much-needed confidence: Coach

India southpaw's Delhi-based coach Tarak Sinha says his ward's unbeaten 97 at Edgbaston on Tuesday was crucial on an otherwise forgettable tour of England

Had it not been for Shikhar Dhawan's unbeaten 97 in the fourth ODI against England, the southpaw's coach, Tarak Sinha, would have been very worried for his ward.

The India opener was under tremendous pressure to keep his place in the playing XI after repeated failures at the top. The southpaw finally roared back to form, helping Team India win comfortably by nine wickets on Tuesday and clinch the five-match series 3-0 at Edgbaston.

Shikhar Dhawan celebrates India's win over England at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Tuesday. Pic/AFP
Shikhar Dhawan celebrates India's win over England at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Tuesday. Pic/AFP

Sinha said Dhawan's last innings would give him some much-needed confidence. "It was very important that he got some runs under his belt. Otherwise, he would have suffered a phobia over performing in England. There was a possibility that the previous disappointments would leave a scar in Dhawan's mind. I thank the team management who backed him at the difficult time and encouraged him. This innings will definitely boost his confidence," Sinha told mid-day.

Shikhar Dhawan's coach Tarak Sinha
Tarak Sinha. Pic/ESPNcricinfo

Dhawan, who was one of the stars during India's Champions Trophy victory in England last year in June at the same venue in Birmingham, looked completely out of sorts in the five-Test series against England. His poor form (122 runs in six innings) also led to him being dropped from the playing XI after three matches. The change of format didn't seem to help Dhawan initially as he managed to score only 11 and 16 in the second and third ODIs respectively after the first one was washed out.

But the Delhi dasher changed things dramatically in the fourth one-dayer. He slowly gathered confidence after giving most of the strike to his opening partner Ajinkya Rahane, who scored a quickfire 106, and exploded once he got his eye in.

"When you are not in form, everything is under scrutiny. I had confidence in Shikhar. He is a positive person. I knew he would bounce back," said Sinha.
The coach also hailed the contribution of his wife Ayesha Mukherjee (a former kick boxer) in reviving his career.

"Being a sportsperson herself, she has handled Shikhar very well. She knows the ups and downs in a sporting career. She has always been very supportive. Shikhar got the opportunity late in his career, but his wife always kept him motivated," Sinha concluded.

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Shikhar Dhawan's average in the recently concluded Test series against England. He scored 122 in six innings

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