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Curbed my natural game in team's interests: Shikhar Dhawan

Galle: Having showed enormous amount of patience during his 134-run knock, opener Shikhar Dhawan Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan expressed great satisfaction in being able to show a different kind of batsmanship to the one people have been used to over last couple of years.

Shikhar Dhawan. Pic/AFP
Shikhar Dhawan. Pic/AFP 

"I don't think it was hard for me to cut down my natural game. I enjoy playing like this. Sometimes, I also enjoy leaving the ball. The team needed that kind of batting and that's what I delivered for my team," Dhawan told mediapersons at the post-match press conference. While he was "happy" that a couple of catches offered by
him were dropped, he did admit that a bruised right hand sustained during fielding, hampered his stroke selection.

"I am happy that they dropped my catches," said a smiling Dhawan. "As a batsman, I want to stay as long as possible at the crease. So when somebody drops your catch, you want to get alert again and start in a fresh away, and that's what I did," Dhawan said. About the injury, the left-handed opener said,"I sustained the injury because of the catch I dropped (Kaushal Silva off Varun Aaron's bowling) in the first innings.

It affected a little bit on my batting and I wasn't playing too many shots. "If I hadn't had any pain, my score could have been more. I had also moved out of slips during fielding, because of pain," Dhawan added. Dhawan was all praise for his skipper, who played a comparatively attractive knock. "Virat played really well and that huge partnership helped our total.

It's a great feeling to bat with him. He is one of the best batsmen in the world and you feel at ease when such kind of a batsman comes in. "You know that he is taking control of everything and you can relax on the running, etc. He is also an aggressive batsman so runs keeps coming from his bat. So I can relax a bit more."

Dhawan credited Sanjay Bangar for working with him after his twin failures in England and Australia. "Our support staff has been really great especially Sanjay bhai (Sanjay Bangar), our batting coach. He has been working well with all our batsmen. I have tweaked little things in my game, nothing major. When you change little
things, the impact is big.

"After that Australia series, even in the ODI World Cup, I played really good knocks and I have been doing consistently well in international circuit. So that feels good," the satisfaction was palpable in his voice. Asked about how he managed to keep his patience and leave so many deliveries, Dhawan said,"If I talk about this innings, I left a lot of balls because they were bowling in really good areas. Even if I wanted to hit, I couldn't because they were bowling well and then I have to respect that. Maybe if the wicket was flatter, I could have hit those balls too."

Talking more about the responsibility of top-order batsmen when five bowlers are included in the playing eleven, Dhawan said,"It depends on what kind of wicket we are playing on. When we are playing with five batsmen, responsibility gets more on top order yes, but still I like to back my game and play according to the wicket. If the wicket is seaming or moving a little bit then of course I am going to give respect to the bowlers."

Wriddhiman Saha, who scored a gutsy 60 also came in for some praise from the southpaw. "I felt disappointed because we needed a big partnership over there again. And when I got out, we only had a 120-run lead. Saha was playing really good at that moment so I wanted to build that partnership but unfortunately I got out. Still I
was happy that I did a good job for my side. Then Saha finished the innings nicely," Dhawan signed off.

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