Skipper Virat Kohli comes out in support of his Delhi teammate; insists opener is very much in form
Bangalore: Shikhar Dhawan’s face was more overcast than the Bangalore sky as umpires decided to call off India’s second Test against South Africa. The morose feature was quite understandable because the left-hander was unbeaten on 45 on Day One, and, perhaps, he could have converted it into something more substantial. But the weather spoiled all those plans.
Shikhar Dhawan pulls on Day One of the second Test against South Africa in Bangalore on Saturday. Pics/AFP
Dhawan needed that one big innings after a shambolic effort in the first Test at Mohali, where he made zero in both the innings. It stood out like a sore thumb even amidst an otherwise joyous occasion of an Indian win. However, Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli rallied behind his Delhi-mate, terming him a match-winner.
“If you call scoring two hundreds in three Test matches struggling then I don’t know what ‘in-form’ is. His last three matches, he has got a hundred in Galle, he has got a hundred in Bangladesh. Unfortunately, he got injured after that and he played first Test match against South Africa after that in Mohali. So let’s not be too hard on someone because of two innings or three innings,” said Kohli.
Virat Kohli acknowledges the crowd after the match was called off due to bad weather at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore yesterday.
'He's not out-of-form'
Kohli then advised about the need to be patient with someone like Dhawan. “We have to be patient with players like Shikhar because he is an impact player and we need to give him as much confidence as we can. When he gets going he wins you the game, that is a surety. I don’t think he has been out of form. He is suddenly hitting the ball very well and as I said he got runs here which is good for his mental set-up.
“We don’t see any issues with his batting or his confidence. We have to let the individual come into his own, and not to put too much pressure on him. If he had more overs to bat he would have been 70 or 80 not out or possibly could have got a hundred as well. I am sure he would want to score big runs in this series and in future as well,” added Kohli.
Those words might not have lost on Dhawan either, as he stayed on at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium for a hit at the nets with a few teammates after the match was called off. The extended session meant Dhawan, and a few others missed the team bus and had to travel back to the team hotel in an ambulance parked in the stadium premises. The travel held symbolic importance to Dhawan more than anyone else. He may not require a career-saving knock yet, but a significant knock is needed nonetheless. Perhaps, Nagpur will offer him a chance.
380 Number of runs scored by Shikhar Dhawan in four Test matches this year @ 76.00