Shikhar Dhawan, the star of India’s wins over Pakistan and South Africa, says killer instinct will be the same against the minnows in Perth today
Perth: The last time the Indian team played here at the Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA) ground a month back (on January 30 in the tri-series), they were bowled out for just 200 by England and ended up losing by three wickets. Opener Shikhar Dhawan was building a good innings, 38 off 65 balls, in that fixture before he played a casual shot to Chris Woakes. The England pacer offered some width and the Indian, without moving his feet, tried to cut and was snapped up by wicketkeeper Jos Butler.
There’s a fear of this casual approach creeping in at today’s World Cup game against minnows United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the WACA. Dhawan is quick to dismiss it though. “We will play the game with the same fighting spirit and are going to keep the same intensity tomorrow as has been through the tournament so far,” Dhawan said at yesterday’s pre-match press conference.
The left-hander is in fine form having cracked a ton (146-ball 137) at the Melbourne Cricket Ground against South Africa last Sunday, a week after hammering a 76-ball 73 against Pakistan.
He plans to continue his strokeplay against UAE today, especially since he claims to have figured out the bounce Down Under. “When you play good back-to-back innings, you get the extra confidence when you go into your third innings. I’ve got used to the bounce here now and I enjoy playing my shots, so whenever I get a chance I will go for my shots,” said Dhawan, a resident of Melbourne, where he lives with his wife Ayesha and three children.
No Shami today
The Indian team will miss the services of pacer Mohammad Shami, who is down with a “mild knee problem and had an ultrasound-guided injection yesterday for his long-term management perspective,” according to a statement sent by the team management. According to sources, Stuart Binny could be picked in the team ahead of fellow swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, given Binny offers an option with the bat too besides his subtle swing.